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26 Zamalek Ultras fans released on bail

Group of football fans charged with violating controversial protest law are released pending trial

Ahram Online, Saturday 20 Sep 2014
El Zamalek fans
El Zamalek fans display a banner during their Egyptian Cup semi-final soccer match against Haras El Hodood in Cairo Stadium October 1, 2011 (Photo: Reuters)
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A north Cairo court ordered on Saturday the release on bail of 26 members on a Zamalek fan club, the Ultras White Knights, pending trial.

The members of the group were arrested in August and charged with violating a controversial law which bans public demonstrations that have not received prior authorisation from the police.

At least 36 Ultras White Knights in detention have joined a growing hunger strike campaign, started last week to denounce detentions of political activists and to demand reform of the protest law.

Over 80 prisoners have joined the hunger strike in Egyptians jails. Many others, including families, journalists and political parties, joined the hunger strike in solidarity with them.

The 26 Ultras released on Saturday on bail of LE500 each were arrested after reportedly being involved in clashes with security forces in Cairo's Shubra neighbourhood. The fans were protesting against the detention of some of their colleagues who are accused of trying to assassinate Zamalek club chairman Mortada Mansour in August.

Following the alleged assassination attempt, Zamalek management decided to distance itself from the group.

Several other members of Ultras White Knights were arrested in subsequent demonstrations.

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