31 protesters acquitted of terrorism charges, breaking Protest Law
January 25, 2014 protests
 

The South Giza Court acquitted a group of 31 activists on Thursday who faced charges of violating the Protest Law and belonging to a terrorist organization.

The defendants were arrested in Agouza on January 25 when violence erupted between police forces and protesters during demonstrations marking the 2011 revolution.

More than 1,000 people were arrested across the country on that day, according to the Ministry of Interior.

Several rights organizations have said that most of the arrests were either random or targeted against activists rallying against police brutality and political persecution, who did not necessarily have any relationship to the banned Muslim Brotherhood organization, despite security forces’ claims to the contrary.

Another group of protesters arrested in Maadi under the same conditions was also acquitted of the same charges last month.

However, the courts were less lenient with a group of protesters arrested in Azbakeya on January 25, sentencing them to two years in prison for breaking the Protest Law. According to the Freedom for the Brave group, an appeal against the verdict is scheduled for June 22.

Families of those detained in the Azbakeya case said that the protesters were beaten and tortured after their arrest, according to the Freedom for the Brave statement. The families reportedly filed charges with Prosecutor General Hesham Barakat, but the case was neglected.

The detainees were transferred from Azbakeya to the Abu Zaabal prison, the statement continued, where they were again subjected to torture and forced to drink contaminated water that poisoned seven of the defendants.

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