Eight young activists were arrested Tuesday the 4th of January 2011 from a solidarity gathering in Shubra. For hours lawyers and activists gathered yesterday in front of the North Cairo prosecution to demand the release of their colleagues. The eight activist were made to sign an acknowledgement today of their referral to an urgent trial tomorrow morning in the Rod El Farag court of demeanor, a procedure recently used by authorities against democracy activists Ahmed Doma (Justice and Freedom movement – Cairo) and Hassan Mostafa (Hashd movement – Alexandria) both of whom received a prison sentence of one month.
The eight activists were arrested from a solidarity gathering in Shubra, a neighborhood with Coptic majority, in the early hours of the 4th of January after being encircled by thousands of anti riot police and after violent clashes with police that resulted in several injured. Before the arrest the police would check the names of the protestors, permit the Copts to leave and keep who they believed were Muslim protestors inside the police cordon.
The violence against the solidarity movement following the massacre of the New Years' eve in Alexandria, which left an estimate of 21 dead, is an attack against several unified actions between Coptic and Muslim youth, which developed within the past days.
Charges facing activists include: Gathering, shouting, contempt of the constitution and law, destruction of public property, attack on 15 antiriot file and rank police, 4 officers, destruction of 11 police trucks, 9 private cars, two microbuses, two police pick ups as well as the pavement!!!!
Based on the charges facing the 8 activist, which do not need a comment regarding their absurdity, we can foresee that tomorrow's trial is meant as a harassment of the solidarity, who were planning, with hundred others, to attend the Coptic Christmas Mass tomorrow expressing their support of Egyptian Coptic citizens and demanding the trial of those responsible for the Alexandria massacre: Minister of Interior Habib el Adly, security director of Alexandria as well as demanding a unified law for places of prayer.
Several calls have been released for a gathering tomorrow in front of the court house demanding the release of the activists. Similar violence can be foreseen.
Urgent pressure is needed with the Public prosecutor, and the president of the republic for the immediate release of the activists and an investigation of the New Year's crime in Alexandria.
President of the Republic
Muhammad Hosni Mubarak
President of the Arab Republic of Egypt
Fax: +202 390 1998
Egyptian Public Prosecutor
Counsellor Abdel Meguid Mahmoud Abdel Meguid
Dar al-Qadha al-'Ali
Via facsimile: + 20 2 2577 4716