Al-Ezbakiya prosecution renewed on Sunday the detention for 45 days of 66 people arrested during clashes near Ramses Square in mid-July.
Clashes erupted near Ramses Square and 6 October Bridge’s exit ramp when security forces tried to disperse a protest calling for the reinstatement of ousted president Mohamed Morsi, claiming that protesters were attempting to block traffic.
Ali Seliman, lawyer and member of the Front to Defend Egypt’s Protesters (FDEP), said some of the detainees were not Morsi supporters and were not taking part in the protest at the time of their arrest.
“They were randomly arrested from the clashes scene,” said Seliman, who attended Sunday’s investigation.
The prosecution pressed several charges against the 66 detainees, state-run Al-Ahram reported, including: attempted murder, thuggery, use of force against policemen, possession of unlicensed firearms, sabotaging public institutions, rallying and blocking roads.
Security forces launched a campaign of arrests which intensified following the forcible dispersal of the pro-Morsi Rabaa Al-Adaweya and Al-Nahda sit-ins on 14 August. According to FDEP, around 1499 people were arrested since the sit-ins’ dispersal in Cairo and Alexandria alone.
FDEP reported the arrest of 795 people following the dispersal of the Rabaa sit-in; 23 of the detainees were released on an EGP 5000 bail, while the rest were detained for 15 days. During the Al-Nahda sit-in’s dispersal, FDEP reported 141 arrests, all detained for 15 days.
Both sets of detainees should face prosecution on Tuesday, when their detention is expected to be renewed, said front member Ragia Omran.
The front also reported the arrest of 359 people during clashes in the vicinity of Ramses Square between pro-Morsi protesters and security forces on 16 and 17 August.
Seliman said that though FDEP is closely monitoring the arrests and updating the numbers of those arrested, the front’s lawyers only defend peaceful protesters.
In a statement released on 14 July, FDEP stressed its members will continue defending peaceful protesters provided they avoid using violence or aggression against civilians and avoid the use of weapons in their demonstrations. It also stated that it is unable to provide leading members of the Muslim Brotherhood with legal aid since the government is pursuing them for offences allegedly committed when in power. The front nevertheless stated that it would assist them should they be subjected to torture, violations or exceptional trials.
On 17 August, the Ministry of Interior announced that a total of 1,004 demonstrators were arrested following clashes which enveloped Cairo and the surrounding governorates the day before.