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Thursday, 25 May 2017

Egyptian teenager detained for possession of Rabaa ruler

The 15-year-old student was arrested after a teacher saw the pro-Brotherhood Rabaa symbol on his ruler

Ayat Al-Tawy, Thursday 28 Nov 2013
Rabaa
Protesters hold pictures showing the four-finger salute of Rabaa Al-Adawiya during a protest in Giza, Egypt, September 6, 2013 (Photo: Mai Shaheen)
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An Egyptian school pupil has been detained by prosecutors for possessing a ruler bearing a symbol associated with the Muslim Brotherhood, in the latest move in an ongoing crackdown on the group's sympathisers.

Khaled Mohamed, 15, was taken by police from his school in the northern Egyptian city of Kafr El-Sheikh on Monday after a teacher noticed he had a ruler emblazoned with the Rabaa sign, a four-fingered symbol representing supporters of ousted Brotherhood president Mohamed Morsi.

The Rabaa sign has been heavily used by supporters of Morsi's Muslim Brotherhood since police forcibly disbanded a pro-Morsi protest vigil at Rabaa Al-Adawiya square in Cairo in mid-August, killing hundreds and sparking widespread unrest.

Mohamed's teacher referred him to the headteacher, who held him at his office until a police officer picked him up during the school day, the boy's lawyer Amr Abdel-Maksoud told Ahram Online.

A provincial prosecution office ordered on Tuesday his detention for fifteen days, judicial sorces said.

The detention is in breach of Egypt's penal code and child law "which stipulates that a juvenile shall not be detained unless they are caught red-handed in a crime," Abdel-Maksoud said.

"He [the teacher] had also overstepped his job mandate by referring Mohamed to the headteacher," he added, arguing that the teacher should have instead given the pupil a warning and requested to meet his parents.

The lawyer also claimed that prosecutors were hindering appeal procedures by asking him to get the student's consent and later putting his request off to next Saturday.

Morsi, Egypt's first democratically elected president, was ousted by Egypt army after millions protested his troubled one-year reign.

Egypt's interim authorities have since mounted a sustained crackdown on Islamists which has seen hundreds killed and thousands arrested.

On Wednesday, an Egyptian court sentenced 14 Islamist female protesters – most aged 18 to 22 – to 11 years in jail after convicting them for damaging private property, attacking security forces and stirring violence during a pro-Morsi protest in the Mediterranean city of Alexandria.

Seven minors in the same case were remanded to a juvenile detention centre for 11 years.

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