Eight Protestors Trial Postponed as Activists Cry Foul
|Saturday, January 8,2011 14:11|
Eight protestors arrested earlier this week were released by a Misdemeanor Court in Cairo after they were detained in the wake of protests against the church blast in Alexandria on New Year's Eve.
According to Ahmed Ragheb, director of the Hisham Mubarak Law Center, the decision was a welcome surprise, adding that lawyers had not anticipated the court’s brave decision to release the activists. He asserted that the defence team will be doing everything in its power to acquit the defendants as they face fabricated charges, including inciting sectarianism, beating judiciary arrest officers, vandalism of public property, attacking and injuring 15 security force officers and four policemen, and vandalizing nine private vehicles, 11 vans, two microbuses, and two police pick-up trucks.
He emphasized that in fact the defendants are the real victims of assault and excessive force by security. An appeal has been submitted, calling for the defendants to be examined by forensic doctors.
Anti-government slogans were chanted during the trial demanding the release of the detainees by a group of 20 protestors.
During demonstrations outside the court, protestors distributed a statement saying that security forces separated Muslims and Copts during the demonstration allowing only Copts and women to leave and detained the eight Muslim defendants.
Karima El-Hefnawy, from the Kefaya Movement for Change argued that the regime feels threatened when Muslims and Christians unite to demand their rights, as they want the Christians to turn to the church like they used to.
Israa Abdel Fatah, an activist, agreed adding: “We will not let the government blame eight people for the failure of state security."