10 detained Ultras Ahlawy members enter day 8 of hunger strike against prison maltreatment: lawyer

Hadeer El-Mahdawy , Wednesday 22 Mar 2017

The Ahly Ultras members were arrested in January and February ahead of a planned commemoration of the 2012 Port Said Massacre

File photo: Ultras Ahlaway at a stadium (Photo: Ahram)

Ten Ultras Ahlawy members, detained over their group's attempt to gather to commemorate in February the Port Said Massacre, have entered their eighth day of a hunger strike in their place of detention, May 15 Prison, their lawyer Mokhtar Mounir told Ahram Online Wednesday.

"They went on hunger strike protesting maltreatment in the prison, as they are banned from visits, do not fully receive the legally allowed supplies (food, clothes, and medicines, etc) from their relatives, and they are demanding their release," Mounir explained.

The 10 fans who age between 18-32 years were arrested at the end of January and the beginning of February, and face charges of "establishing and leading an illegal group, inciting goals of disturbing public order, possessing explosives and inciting protests, and their detention was renewed ever since," according to Mounir.

In February, Ultras Ahlawy, the hardcore football fan group that supports Cairo’s popular club Al-Ahly, cancelled an annual gathering to commemorate the mass deaths of club members in a 2012 stadium fight, citing a series of police warnings, raids and arrests of its members.

The Ahly fan group had said in a statement following the arrests that dozens of special police forces "stormed houses of some of the group members, arrested them and their family members, stole their belongings and destroyed everything" in an attempt to prevent the "commemoration of the Port Said martyrs."

According to Mounir, seven of the detained Ultras Ahlawy members were arrested upon warrants against them, while three others were arrested distributing stickers related to the massacre commemoration in Cairo.

72 Ultras fans were killed by rival Masry supporters following a league match in the coastal city of Port Said in February 2012.

Eleven people were given death sentences and more than a dozen were handed lengthy prison terms over their role in the killings, but the diehard fans believe the real culprits remain untouched. The sentences are being appealed before the Court of Cassation.

Nine police officials are among 73 defendants standing retrial on charges related to the killing of the young fans, with final verdicts yet to be read or carried out.

A court of urgent matters in May 2015 banned Ultras fan clubs over terrorism concerns.

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