Protest in Cairo Tuesday to demand detainees' release

Ahram Online, Monday 24 Feb 2014

Activists will demand release of political detainees at protest on 6 October Bridge on Tuesday

25 January Third Anniversary
Clashes between Police and anti-government protesters in downtown Cairo on the third anniversary of the revolution, 25 January 2014 (Photo: Mai Shaheen)

A protest to demand the release of political detainees will be held in Cairo on Tuesday.

Strong Egypt Party, April 6 Youth Movement, Revolutionary Socialists and a number of other groups have signed a statement calling for the protest on 6 October Bridge at 6pm.

On 25 February, we will stand in solidarity with all detainees and demand their freedom, regardless of their political affiliation, the statement added.   

The government has launched a widespread crackdown on Islamists since the ouster of president Mohamed Morsi in July 2013. Thousands of his supporters have been jailed and hundreds killed in street violence.

But the recent arrest of many secular activists has fuelled anxiety of a broader crackdown on dissent.

Hundreds of protesters were detained on the third anniversary of the January 25 revolution

"As the scope of repression across the country continues to expand unabated, the hopes of freedom and justice are becoming more elusive," Amnesty International said in a February report concerning the "staggering" arrests made on 25 January.

More than 1,000 people were arrested on that day alone, according to the interior ministry.

The report also cited accounts by eyewitnesses and former detainees about the abuse and ill-treatment they suffered in prison at the hands of security forces.

However, Egypt's top prosecutor, Hisham Barakat, said Egyptian prisons have no political detainees.

All those currently imprisoned are being detained pending court or prosecution orders or have received sentences from the respective courts, said Barakat.

He added that all detentions in recent months were ordered in accordance with the country's criminal law and were not subject to any exceptional legislation.

Short link: