Six young people arrested from Al-Azhar Park were handed a 15-day detention order on Friday and charged with forming a group called “Garabea” and possession of 160 printed documents that allegedly “spread rumors and attempt to obstruct the law and the constitution.”
Ahmed Nasr, Sara Mehanna, Maha Ahmed, Enas Ibrahim, Mohamed Mahfouz and Nancy Kamal were escorted by 25 security personnel from the park on Thursday to a security room near the gate without any explanation as to why, Mohamed Hanafy, a lawyer at the Egyptian Commission for Rights and Freedoms, told Mada Masr.
They were kept overnight at the police station before being formally accused on Friday of possessing a laptop and printed documents titled the “Union of Garabea,” a word that refers to impoverishment in the Egyptian dialect.
The detainees denied all accusations against them and their defense team demanded the park’s surveillance tapes be reviewed.
The prosecution also charged the young people with inciting protests, founding an illegal group and spreading terrorist ideas, spreading rumors on Facebook, receiving funding for terrorist crimes and inciting people against the maritime border demarcation agreement with Saudi Arabia.
Over the last month, tickets have appeared on the Cairo metro titled “Union of the Garabea,” with slogans such as: “Do you feel your children are safe?” and “Happy with stability?” or “Do you still have change?” At the same time, a Facebook page “Union of the Garabea” appeared online.
Security forces have been arresting a number of people they consider to be involved in dissent against the ceding of Tiran and Sanafir islands to Saudi Arabia. There have also been small indications of unrest amid heavy inflation in recent days, as fuel prices have rocketed and subsidies been further cut.