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Egypt's prosecutor orders release of 25 Ultras Ahlawy

Twenty-five detained Ahly fans are to be released after nearly a month in detention following clashes at Cairo International Airport early October

ElSayed Gamal Eldeen, Saturday 9 Nov 2013
Ultras
Ultras Ahlawy during their march from the Ahly club to the High Court, Wednesday, November 6, 2013 (Photo by Mai Shaheen)
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East Cairo prosecution head ordered on Saturday the release of 25 die-hard football fans after their detention for almost a month on charges of allegedly assaulting security forces.

The detainees were released without bail after paying compensation for damages at Cairo Airport during clashes with security forces in October, reported Al-Ahram's Arabic news website.

The fans were accused of assaulting police officers and damaging airport facilities among other charges

During a private court session on Saturday, the defendants' lawyers, Amr Abou El-Yazeed and Khaled Abou Qura’a, pleaded for the release of the accused.

They claimed the charges had been fabricated and were unrealistic, emphasising that the defendants had nothing to do with the assault as they were not apprehended in the act.

The incident for which the defendants were charged took place on 13 October at Cairo International Airport, when fans went to receive Ahly Club's handball team upon their return from Tunisia after losing in the African Cup final.

Since their detention, thousands of Ultras Ahlawy fans have staged demonstrations demanding the release of their comrades.

The Ultras played a leading role in the 25 January 2011 uprising that toppled longtime autocratic leader Hosni Mubarak and have been known since for their political activism. They have frequently clashed with police during demonstrations and football matches, with many members arrested, injured and killed in recent years.

The existing grudge in the relationship between the Ultras and security forces increased significantly after the Port Said Stadium massacre in February 2012, which left 74 dead. Fans hold authorities responsible for the incident.

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