CAIRO: The Giza Criminal Court renewed the detention of 40 detained Cairo University students for another week, postponing their trial session to April 6, according to the Facebook page of a movement created to support detainees.
The movement, “Freedom for the Brave,” said on Sunday the detainees were arrested on January 16 while walking out of the university. They are accused of murder and the attempted murder of 27 students, of joining a “terrorist” organization and the possession of arms, the movement said.
The movement’s statement also said the students’ lawyers presented evidence to the prosecution that provided alibis for the students, confirming they were in university taking their exams.
On a further note, 21 detainees arrested at the protests on the third anniversary of the January 25 Revolution have been on a hunger strike since March 25 at Wadi al-Natroun Prison, the movement said.
Their detention period was extended for another 15 days by prosecution authorities in 6th of October City, Karim el-Beheiry tweeted on Sunday. Beheiry is a journalist who was released recently after being detained for the same case.
Another 68 detainees from Azbakeya were sentenced to two years in jail, and will appear before an appeals court on April 12, the movement said.
Human rights organizations and other groups are continuing to shed light on the status of detainees, and have repeatedly reported cases of torture and beatings by police forces.
“Beating, sexual assaults and electrocution are examples of what prisoners in Egypt are subject to, including minors,” the BBC stated in a March 28 report based on testimonies from released victims.
Nagy Kamel, one of the released detainees, said every time he was taken to a police station or a prison during his detention, he and the other prisoners were welcomed with a beating.
“Police officers, with batons and electric shock sticks, non-stop beating, they made us take off our clothes, they shaved our heads in a way that would humiliate us,” he testified in a video published online March 21.
Earlier this month, a number of political parties met at Egypt’s Press Syndicate with the families of the detained to discuss their statuses, and read young prisoners’ letters, according to media reports March 14.
Khaled Abdel Hamid, a co-founder of the Freedom for the Brave movement, told The Cairo Post Sunday “there should be more effort by political forces in order for our work to be more effective.”
However, the initiative also seeks to maintain its independence from political influences, Hamid added, “because it’s an open cause for all detainees, to whom we provide legal, financial and media support, regardless of any political affiliation.”