A Week of Rich Pickings in Tahrir – 383 Arrests in Cairo Alone
Since the beginning of the attacks on demonstrators last Saturday, November 19th, the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights (EIPR) has recorded at least 383 arrests in Cairo alone, and the referral of those arrested to prosecutors in Abdeen, Qasr el-Nil, and other prosecution offices. Arrests were made in several different ways and circumstances, and charges included illegal assembly, destruction of public and private property, assaulting and injuring public officials during the course of their duties, and disrupting traffic.
The pace of arresting and charging demonstrators on the sidelines of the events in Tahrir did not slacken over the past week. The Qasr el-Nil prosecutor investigated 67 people on the 20th November, all of which were released on the 21st November after a forensic examination of the injured. On the 21st November, 102 people were brought before prosecutors assigned by the El-Quba prosecutor; they were also released, except for 5 persons who, according to the prosecutor, were wanted for previous convictions which had not been implemented. 39 people appeared before the Abdeen prosecutor, which decided to release them as soon as investigations were completed at dawn on the 22nd November.
On November 22nd, 20 more people were investigated in front of prosecutors assigned by the El-Quba Chief prosecutor, who then ordered their release. On the 23rd November, as events escalated, 51 people were investigated in front of the North Cairo Court and then released. On the same day, 3 American students studying in Cairo were brought before the Qasr el-Nil prosecutor, who ordered their detention for four days. On the 24th November the order came to release them on bail in Zamalek. Also on the 23rd November, 20 people were brought before the Abdeen prosecutor. 14 of them were released, whereas 6 of them were detained for 4 days pending investigation, because they had previous criminal convictions.
At dawn on the 24th November, 52 people were brought before the North Cairo Court. 45 were released, and 7 were kept in custody because of previous criminal convictions. In the middle of Thursday, 24th November, 24 people were brought before the El-Waely prosecutor, in addition to 5 more people who were brought before the Abdeen prosecutor; all were later released.
This brought the total number of persons arrested to at least 383.
Activists and lawyers from the EIPR and other organisations belonging to the Front to Defend Egypt Protesters reported that those arrested were subjected to beating and ill-treatment in Central Security headquarters in which they were detained and during their transfer to the public prosecutor's office. They were subject to verbal and physical abuse, and the injured amongst them did not receive any medical care. Lawyers recorded a number of children amongst those arrested and also noted that the prosecutor took no decisive action against violations by security forces.