CAIRO: The detention of those arrested in connection with the events of April 6 was renewed for a further 15 days on Saturday, while the New Cairo Court ordered that one detainee, Mohamed El-Sharqawy, be released.
The Qasr El-Nil court ordered a 15-day extension of the detention of 21 individuals in a court appearance which lawyers say was marred by irregularities.
A lawyer from the Egyptian Organization for Human Rights told Daily News Egypt that police officers were present in the room with the suspects while the judge was examining their cases, which is a violation of the law.
In addition police officers refused to remove defendants’ handcuffs during the court appearance, again in violation of the law.
The group form part of over 60 individuals arrested in Cairo alone on or after April 6, when opposition political groups called for a general strike throughout Egypt in protest at rising food prices and corruption.
In Giza, confusion surrounded which court El-Sharqawy was to appear in.
“We don’t know whether he’ll appear in the Giza Court or be taken to Sixth of October, Naira El-Sheikh, El-Sharqawy’s fiancée told Daily News Egypt.
“They’re deliberately misleading us, so we’ve sent two groups to both courts to be sure that someone is there when he appears, she continued.
El-Sharqawy was detained on the evening of April 7, a day after protests in Cairo and elsewhere were held to coincide with a general strike called for by opposition groups.
The court Saturday examined whether he should continue to be held in pre-trial detention on a charge of publishing material calling for a strike and inciting hatred of the regime.
When asked by a lawyer whether El-Sharqawy would appear in the Giza court complex, the head of the Giza prosecution office replied that he would not, and that El-Sharqawy was not actually in the building in the first place.
It subsequently transpired that as this conversation was taking place, his fiancé El-Sheikh was talking to El-Sharqawy outside the Giza court complex where he was being held in a police truck which had earlier brought him from the El-Marg prison.
El-Sharqawy was then taken to the New Cairo criminal court building where his release was ordered.
“They’re taking him back to El-Marg prison and hopefully he’ll be released after procedures have been completed, she said.
“However, we don’t know exactly when he will be released.