Lawyers hired to defend minors charged in Tahrir clashes

Ahram Online, Wednesday 21 Dec 2011

Pursuant to Egyptian law, children arrested in this week's Tahrir clashes will be provided with legal defence

Child injured in Tahrir
An injured boy receives help from protesters during clashes with riot police near cabinet offices near Tahrir Square in Cairo 18 December, 2011 (Photo: REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh)

Egypt’s National Council for Motherhood and Childhood, in cooperation with the Egyptian Coalition for Child’s Rights, has reportedly hired a team of lawyers to defend minors accused of inciting violence and damaging public property during recent clashes in and around Cairo’s flashpoint Tahrir Square.

Egypt’s Children’s Laws (numbers 125 and 126 of 2008) stipulate that a lawyer must be present whenever minors are charged with criminal offenses.  

In the recent Tahrir Square clashes, which followed the violent dispersal of an anti-government sit-in in front of the nearby Cabinet building by security forces, several children were accused by military authorities of inciting riots.

At a press conference convened earlier this week, Egypt’s ruling military council screened video testimony by accused children. Lawyer and former MP Tarek El-Awady, however, has asserted that the children shown in the video had in fact been arrested before this week’s clashes had taken place. 

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