Twelve detained Ahly Club football fans were handed detention orders in the last three days by the State Security Prosecution, as the number of ultras arrested has climbed to at least 45 in the wake of clashes between security forces and fans at a football match in Cairo.
Mohamed Hafez, a lawyer with the Association for Freedom of Thought and Expression, told Mada Masr that eight fans were questioned on Saturday night and Sunday while four others were brought for questioning on Monday. The prosecution issued 15-day detention orders pending investigations to all of them on the days of their interrogations.
The detained ultras were accused of leading or joining a terrorist group, vandalizing public and private property and the possession of fireworks.
The number of those arrested after the game ranges between 45 and 51, according to figures from lawyers and the families of those arrested, as no official number has been released by the authorities.
Lawyers were present during the questioning of only three of the 12 fans.
Several fans reportedly moved into the upper section of Cairo Stadium during a March 6 game, an area that is usually closed off to them, prompting security forces to attempt to arrest several of them. This led to a standoff, during which fans lit firecrackers, chanted against the police and broke stadium chairs. Altercations escalated following the match, with fans reportedly setting two police vehicles on fire.
The following day, State Security Prosecution began investigations into the incident and stated that what happened “has nothing to do with supporting Ahly SC, but rather harms the safety and security of the country,” the privately owned Youm7 newspaper reported.
The ultras official Facebook Page released a statement on Wednesday, saying, “If some irresponsible people participated in this unintentional transgression, we apologize. This situation has nothing to do with Ahly fans.”
*Note: This piece has been edited since it was originally published.