Egypt's general prosecutor Hamada al-Sawy (Photo: Al-Ahram)
Egypt's Prosecutor General Hamada Al-Sawy has referred three people to criminal court for "holding a gathering" amid the coronavirus crisis and violating restrictions imposed by the government aimed at curbing the spread of the virus.
The prosecution said in a statement that three defendants, two Egyptians and a Jordanian, were arrested at a villa in New Cairo's Rehab district on charges of "holding parties" during curfew hours.
The prosecution said its monitoring unit had received a number of complaints from Rehab residents against a tenant for "holding a concert in violation of the cabinet's decision to suspend such activities as a preventive measure against the spread of coronavirus."
According to the police, the defendants were in the habit to holding loud concerts at the villa with the attendance of crowds. They allegedly used social media to invite youth to their parties for "illegal profit."
The defendants have denied all charges, claiming they were at the villa to attend a Ramadan iftar gathering.
This is the first time that the prosecutor general has refers such a case to court amid restrictions imposed by the state to limit the spread of Covid-19.
Egypt has implemented unprecedented measures since March to limit the spread of the contagion, suspending gatherings to avoid crowding, shutting down schools and suspending flights at airports nationwide, while keeping air space open for tourists leaving the country and to bring back Egyptians stranded abroad.
The measures include an extended overnight curfew imposed since March.