State Security Prosecution ordered the release, pending further investigation, of seven out of 23 Ahly Football Club fans on Thursday, after almost a month in detention following March 6 clashes at a Cairo stadium. One of the fans was released on Tuesday after the death of his father, lawyer Mokhtar Mounir told Mada Masr.
The release order was given for six of the fans on Thursday, who are still in detention awaiting its implementation. The fan who was released from custody on Tuesday was not remanded again. Sixteen other fans remain in detention pending further investigations.
Although 23 fans appeared before the prosecution in the case, lawyers and the families of detainees say as many as 50 people were arrested after the game. No official number of arrests has been given by Egyptian authorities.
Clashes broke out during the match after a number of fans reportedly tried to move to the upper section of the Cairo stadium that is usually closed off to them.
The 23 fans are facing a wide range of charges, including vandalizing public property, the possession of fireworks, assaulting police and joining and leading a terrorist group, Mounir reported.
After initial investigations into the incident, General Prosecutor Nabil Sadek issued a statement saying that the arrests had “nothing to do with supporting Ahly Football Club,” but are connected to attempts to “harm the safety and security of the country,” the privately owned Youm7 newspaper reported.
Dozens of football fans in Egypt have been detained on similar charges since the Ultras White Knights and Ultras Ahlawy hardcore football fan clubs were designated illegal groups by Egyptian authorities in 2015.
On April 3, the Ultras Ahlawy fan club urged the president to pardon “dozens of detained fans … as investigations showed they were not part of what happened during the match, and they were only arrested because they are not well known.”