After 970-Day Detention, Detainees' Families Demand Immediate Release
|Sunday, April 17,2016 04:43|
Families of the detainees held pending the Dawa Islamiya School (Beni Suef) lawsuit demanded the immediate release of relatives detained for more than 30 months already. In a statement, the families reiterated that their loved ones are being tried on trumped-up charges relating to causing damage to government buildings.
Defense lawyers complained that the presiding judge accepts the police report and National Security investigations and rejects the defendants' statements. They added that National Security officers were masked inside the court while they testified, which is contrary to legal procedures.
The case dates back to August 20, 2013 when army and police forces broke into the Dawa Islamiya school complex in Beni Suef, which includes elementary, middle and high schools, and arrested 32 of its employees.
Officers quickly realized school staff thus rounded up were not the persons they wanted. Nevertheless, they arrested all present personnel, including schools managers and deputies.
Then, coup authorities brought against the arrested employees false charges of arson, destruction and theft of government property. They remained locked up pending criminal case 4619 Beni Suef for a year and a half, until the prosecutor recommended the case be closed and the charges dropped. However, the detainees were sadly surprised to find their names moved over to another case (4570 Criminal Beni Suef) known in the media as the Beni Suef Vandalism case.
Moreover, more false charges were additionally laid against them relating to possession of weapons and ammunition and theft of government installations. The case was finally referred to a military court under No. 96 military.
Now, the defendants are on trial before military judge Essam Abdul-Samie Ashour, who recently sentenced a 4-year old toddler in Fayoum to life imprisonment. According to the defendants, the judge referred to the subject of controversy, and deals with the issue is politicized, ignoring legal procedures fair trial.
To read the original statement in Arabic, follow this link:
To contact relatives of the detainees:
Ahmed Shaaban: Phone 01155676040
Mohamed Helfayah: Phone 01148822500
Ragab Saeed: Phone 01152275569
Medhat: Phone 01100927610
Mohamed Eid: Phone 01150494414
Wahid Abdel-Azim: Phone 01156699447
Anas: Phone 01005392351
Ali Abul-Ela, lawyer, head of the defense team: Phone 01142572702