The initial results of a report conducted on the number of arrests during President Mohamed Morsi’s first ten months in power suggest that at least 3,413 people were arrested.
The report is being prepared by the My Country My Rights campaign, in collaboration with the Front to Defend Egypt Protesters. Ahmed Atef, a campaign and Front member working on the report, said a final report is to be released next week.
Initial numbers suggest that 2,384 arrests took place in Cairo alone, while 752 took place in 11 other governorates. The report said that at least 210 labourers and students had been arrested and 67 military trials conducted in the past ten months.
“Even when the final report is released, the numbers will not be exact,” Atef said. “Some detainees can never be reached by rights groups, especially in the governorates of Upper Egypt.”
Sayeda Qandil, a lawyer working with the Front to Defend Egypt Protesters, said the number of detainees could exceed 3,413. She added that arrest numbers during Morsi’s time in power were double the numbers recorded in the same time period during ousted president Hosni Mubarak’s time in power.
“What’s special about Morsi’s detainees is that at least 40% of them are minors,” Qandil added.
During the past week arrests took a different form, where police raided homes to carry out arrests. On Friday, at least 22 homes were raided by the police to arrest people accused of being Black Bloc members. Seven men were arrested. The raids were ordered by the prosecutor general.
Qandil said that arrest warrants do not give police the power to break into and search houses. “They have to have permission from the prosecution to search houses,” she said. “Otherwise, they are only allowed to arrest people they come across in public places.”
Qandil claimed Friday’s raid also targeted the homes of friends and relatives of the alleged Black Bloc members.
Two police raids took place last weekend. Security forces allegedly broke into the apartment of five political activists who were in Alexandria to attend Hassan Mustafa’s trial, arresting two men on Saturday.