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Criminal Justice | ECESR Gets Acquittal Decisions in Cairo and Alexandria Protest-Related Cases, Calls for Releasing Detainees

ECESR calls for releasing Azbakia and Miami detainees, abiding by the acquittal decision, and the immediate release of all revolutionary detainees

ECESR got yesterday and today acquittal decisions in the protest-related cases occurred in Azbakia, Cairo and Miami, Alexandria [1]. The defendants were caught under the Protest Act.

The Court of Appeal acquitted yesterday the defendants of the January 25 revolution’s third anniversary in the two different cases (Azbakia and Miami). But so far the detainees have not been released, 63 in Azbakia case and 15 in Miami, not to mention being held unjustly for five months before acquitting them.

Celebrating the third anniversary of the glorious revolution, many young people took to the streets. With the first moments of launching their march from Mustafa Mahmoud Mosque, a barrage of bullets, pellets and tear gas targeted them through armored vehicles belonging to the police. The demonstrators were dispersed in the side streets, and then decided to assemble in front of the Journalists’ Syndicate in downtown. Interior personnel along with a number of thugs chased them with excessive use of force and then arrested and charged with a stereotype charges that date back to deposed president Mubarak. The same scenario reiterated in Miami area in Alexandria and the youth were randomly arrested on January 24, 2014, the eve of the third anniversary of the revolution.

ECESR values the acquittal judgment in the two cases, but at the same time expresses concern for not releasing them so far. They have been arrested randomly while demonstrating, not to mention being locked for full five months without any mention of compensation for that period of confinement, and particularly the facts of Azbakia detainees’ torture in custody before and after bringing them before the prosecutor.

ECESR calls upon the Egyptian judiciary and the ruling regime to reverse all the sentences held against the youth, who received jail sentences in different cases. Recently, 24 protesters in the Shura Council clashes were sentenced to 15 years in prison, in addition to putting them under surveillance for five years plus one LE 100.000 fine. This harsh sentence was handed down because they took to the streets in protest against the notorious Protest Act, which many political forces and NGOs call for rescinding it. It heavily encroaches on the freedoms and the basic human right for a person to express his opinion, in addition to being contrary to the Constitution.

ECESR indicates that the police deal with demonstrators in a harsh way exceeding the articles of this notorious flawed law. Yesterday, for instance, security forces dispersed a march headed to the Federal Palace to demand the immediate release of detainees and abolishing the unconstitutional Protest Act. It ended with arresting a group of young people, 23 of them were remanded in custody for four days.

ECESR emphasizes on the need for the immediate release of all political detainees in all the events that followed the January revolution. It also calls for holding the criminals, who killed and intentionally injured the young protesters, accountable. Needless to say, the young protesters have made sacrifices to remove a legacy of killing, imprisonment, torture, looting, impoverishment and corruption that reached a shocking extent of manipulation of people’s lives and the new generations’ fate.

[1] In the case 21606/2014 (Misdemeanor Montazah), the Court accepted the appeal in form but in substance the judge decided to cancel the first degree verdict and sentenced the third and seventh defendants to 3 months in prison and acquitted the remaining 17 defendants.