Clashes outside courts in Mahalla al-Kubra, Egypt

People of Ghazl al-Mahalla take to the streets last week.

Around 300 people were involved in clashes with Egyptian security forces as, friends and family rallied in support of those detained for their part in last week's clashes.

Public Prosecutor Abdel Maguid Mahmoud decided to release 18 people kept under provisional detention in connection with the riots that occurred on April 6 and 7 during the semi-aborted general strike. He said in a statement yesterday that investigations were still underway to determine the criminal responsibilities of the other people under provisional detention.

He stressed that investigations will continue - with other detainees accused of possessing firearms and ammunition without license, demonstrating, rallying, subversion of property and inciting riots - in preparation for identifying the criminal responsibilities.

In Mahalla, around 300 people of the family of those arrested gathered inside the courts compound and waited for the decision of the Attorney General over the appeal made by Defense Lawyers against the decision to keep the accused under detention for 15 days.

Altercations broke out between the locals and the court guards, who tried to force them out and break their rally. Meanwhile, locals accused a policeman of breaking a court window to put the blame on them.

The chairman of the liberties committee at the Bar Association and one of the defense lawyers, Ahmed Higazy, said that the number of people arrested after the decisions to release them were 151 on the first day of the strike, 76 on the second and, in total, 227, in addition to the dozens arrested on Friday morning to prevent new clashes.

The relatives of the arrested demanded that they be released, some local residents threatened to start an open sit-in at the court compound in Mahalla and to go on hunger strike in case their appeal is rejected.

25 professors and activists have also submitted two reports to the Public Prosecutor this week against a colonel and lieutenant colonel who prevented the activists to enter the city of Al Mahala and detained them for 6 hours. The second report demands the release of detainees.

Posted By

Ed
Apr 16 2008 13:39

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Mazen Kamalmaz
Apr 18 2008 17:59

It is only a training for the coming big events...