The location of activists Mahienour El-Massry and Youssef Sha’ban remained unknown for several hours, after Alexandria’s El-Raml Misdemeanour Appeals Court ordered their detention Monday.
The defendants’ lawyer, Mohamed Ramadan, told Daily News Egypt: “They are now in Al-Labban police station, which is not their normal place of detention. They were trying to mislead us yesterday.”
According to Ramadan, the defendants were supposed to be released on bail until a verdict session on 31 May, on charges of demonstrating violence, but placing them in detention was merely “a political resolution”.
El-Massry and Sha’ban were initially sentenced, alongside eight other defendants, to two years imprisonment and fined EGP 50,000 by the Alexandria Misdemeanour Court. However, only El-Massry, Sha’ban and Loai Al-Kahwagi, who is already in detention in a different case, were the ones who issued an appeal against the verdict.
The case dates back to 2013, during the Muslim Brotherhood era, where 10 activists and lawyers were accused of breaking into the El-Raml police station in Alexandria.
During the hearing in November 2014, the court summoned Alexandria’s security director to provide his testimony, alongside two lawyers who were eyewitnesses to the event.
One of the hearing’s attendees, Ranwa Youssef, Sha’ban’s wife and member of the Revolutionary Socialists group in Alexandria, said: “The eyewitnesses denied the counts against the defendants and told the court that the defendants did not vandalise the police station or do any riot acts.”
In March 2013, a group of lawyers started a sit-in in front of El-Raml police station in Alexandria. They demanded an official apology from the Interior Ministry regarding the injury of their fellow lawyer at the hands of police personnel. The lawyers were then arrested and accused of attempting to break into the police station.