Protests to free Israeli embassy detainees

Mohamed El-Hebeishy, Wednesday 18 May 2011

Activists protest in Tahrir Square, demanding the release of Tarek Shalaby and others

(Photo by Mai Shahen)

In the middle of Tahrir Square, 500 Egyptians gathered on the afternoon of 18 May calling for the release of Tarek Shalaby and another 135 civilians detained by the military.

All were arrested during the crackdown on 15 May protest that took place in front of the Israeli embassy in Giza marking Nakba Day.

“We are not here only for Tarek Shalaby, but rather for all those arrested by the military for no other reason but peacefully voicing their opinion,” commented Lilian Wagdy who participated in the demonstration responding to an online campaign.

The demonstration also called for an end to military trials for civilians.

Those detained on the 15 May, Nakba Day for the Palestinians, were protesting against the Israeli occupation of Palestine outside the Israeli embassy. The protests turned violent as military police and Central Security forces dispersed the crowds, accusing the protestors of trying to attack the embassy in an attempt to bring down the Israeli flag, leaving at least 350 wounded.

Tarek Shalaby is a leading political activist who participated in January 25 Revolution, accompanied the first aid convoys heading to Libya, and aided the release of Mohamed Radwan and Abdel Khalek who were detained in Syria and Libya respectively.

On 17 May the military prosecution released 17 activists due to their young age and to avoid harming their school records. However, 119 more are still detained facing "charges of provoking riots and committing acts of thuggery".  

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