The legal period of remand for 1,464 Egyptians has exceeded legal statutes and yet they are still in prison. Article 143 in the Criminal Measures Law stipulates that the maximum duration for remand is two years, according to report titled “Endless Imprisonment” issued on Tuesday by the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights (EIPR).
Responding to the misinterpretation of the penal code by judges and dependence on extenuating circumstances to violate the determined duration of remand, the EIPR has called on the government to deliver a request to the Constitutional Court to ensure the proper implementation of article, closing all loopholes.
A new group of prisoners are currently suffering from extended remand: those who were arrested during the Red Sea islands protests on 25 April.
“Remand without trial is now used as a tool of oppression. Different judges implement the article differently and no authority can settle this except the Constitutional Court,” a lawyer at the EIPR Huda Nasr said.
The report cited prisoners who are facing charges of illegal protest, assault on police officers, membership in an outlawed group and intent to commit crimes during protests.
During the Mubarak era, police forces depended on the emergency law to arrest tens of thousands of Egyptians without legal backing or evidence. In 2013, the Constitutional Court modified this law and obligated state security forces to follow the Criminal Measures Law, according to the EIPR.
The EIPR called on Prime Minister Sherif Ismail and Speaker of the House Ali Abdel Aal to ask the Constitutional Court for an accurate interpretation of Article 143 to ensure the release of the 1,464 whose remand has exceeded the legal period.
It concluded that the aforementioned statistic is not accurate and is probably much lower than the real number of prisoners in remand.