113 Tahrir protesters released from Abdeen prosecution

CAIRO: One hundred and thirteen Tahrir protesters detained after military police violently dispersed a sit-in on Aug. 1 were released from the Abdeen prosecutor Wednesday afternoon.

A lawyer had told Daily News Egypt earlier in the day that they were interrogated by the prosecutor in Abdeen.

This was the first time protesters are referred to civil prosecution since Feb. 25, when military police arrested protesters outside the cabinet and referred them to military prosecution and courts.

Complaints were filed by shop owners around Tahrir Square against the protesters who face charges of libel, slander and assault of shop owners and army officers.

“This is what is listed in the investigation reports. But it still remains to be known whether or not the shop owners are really the ones who filed the complaints,” Lawyer at Hisham Mubarak Law Center Ahmed Ragheb told Daily News Egypt.

“The protesters are being interrogated as defendants and as victims as well, since many of them were beaten and tortured by military police,” Ragheb said.

Ragheb also added the torture cases may or may not be referred to military prosecution until the Abdeen prosecution gathers the evidence.

Members of the armed forces and central security police raided Tahrir Square on Monday afternoon, bringing down the tents, forcing protesters to end their open sit-in, and allowing the flow of traffic in the square.

Protesters said that members of the armed forces accompanied by riot police attacked them with batons. The army fired gun shots in the air to intimidate protesters, according to eyewitnesses.

Some groups tied their stay in Tahrir with the decision of the families of the martyrs, who have reportedly been pressured and harassed by police to drop their cases or change their testimonies.

One of the protesters said Sunday afternoon that the families would suspend the sit-in if all officers implicated in killing protesters were detained pending trial.
For others, it was the Mubarak trial set for Wednesday.

“There were differences between members of [The Democratic Front of the April 6 Youth Movement] last night which ended with the majority voting on continuing the sit-in until Aug. 3 to guarantee that Mubarak would appear in court,” Mo’men Mohamed, member of the group’s media center, told DNE on Monday.

“We also want the military council to set a timeline for meeting the rest of our demands before we decide to leave,” he added.


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