Engineers protest to pressure military for immediate release of colleagues arrested in Abbasiya

Ahram Online, Monday 21 May 2012

Egypt's engineers are to protest Monday to demand the immediate release of engineers arrested in clashes in Abbasiya, Cairo and for rights to visit others still in detention

Engineers will protest on Monday, 5:00pm before the Engineers' Syndicate in solidarity with those still in detention from demonstrating in Abbasiya, Cairo earlier in May.

The Engineers' Syndicate has established a committee to meet with the military prosecutor on Monday. The committee will demand the immediate release of all engineers arrested during the Abbasiya clashes and for permission to visit detained activists.
At least 300 in total were arrested earlier this month during the mass demonstrations in Abbasiya that started on 4 May against Egypt's ruling Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF).  Although a number have since been released, 89 reportedly remain in custody.
Of those 300, 29 were engineers. Only five engineers have thus far been released.
Engineers and journalists, as well as activists, went on a hunger strike on Sunday at the Egyptian Press Syndicate's headquarters in downtown Cairo to protest military rule and the continued detention of dozens of activists by military authorities.
Detainees face several charges, including using violence against military personnel, disrupting traffic, illegally gathering and trespassing on restricted military areas.
The military has repeatedly claimed that the arrests came only after demonstrators had attempted to storm the defence ministry. Activists, meanwhile, accuse military police of using excessive force to disperse demonstrators and of trying civilians in military courts.
Egyptian activists have long campaigned for an end to the practice of referring civilians to military tribunals, demanding that all civilians facing military prosecution be tried in civilian courts. Some 12,000 civilians are estimated to have faced military prosecution since the SCAF assumed executive power in February of last year following the ouster of former president Hosni Mubarak.
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