Lawyer and former presidential candidate Khaled Ali has made public an inventory of the names of those arrested between 20 September and 10 October. According to the published inventory, their number amounted to 1,943 persons whose names were collected from the testimonies of lawyers and families, as well as the data of human rights organisations published on social networks. No official entity had published the numbers of arrestees after the demonstrations that broke out in many of the Egyptian governorates and regions protesting the bad economic and social conditions and the severe oppression.
The Prosecutor General, Consultant Hamada el-Sawy, issued a decision on Sunday 27 September to release 68 detained children accused of participating in demonstrations in the Supreme State Security Prosecution Case No.880 of 2020. The Prosecutor General explained in a press release today that releasing those children took place after their guardians undertook to watch over them, take proper care of them, and agreed to not allow them to participate in similar deeds in the future, and never endanger them again.
In its statement, the Defaa (defence) team led by Khaled Ali said that the individuals arrested since the escalation of the demonstration between 20 September 2020 and 10 October were added to two cases after interrogating them. These are the state security cases No. 880 and 960 of 2020 whose entire defendants were detained for 10 days pending investigations. The statement emphasised that this inventory is approximate and might not contain all the arrestees nor those included in the release decisions, explaining that there are cases that could not be monitored. The names that were confirmed to have been issued release decisions were, however, excluded.
Egypt Watch learned from its sources that among the detainees are relatives of political opponents and prominent journalists like the brother of journalist Khaled el-Balshy who is well-known for his opposition to the regime. His brother was arrested on 20 September and did not resurface until recently in the State Security Prosecution, which detained him for 15 days pending investigations under case No. 880 of 2020.
Egypt’s governorates saw the outbreak of sporadic demonstrations sparked by a government campaign to demolish houses and homes issued by Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, in addition to the state of the economy which is the worst ever in the history of Egypt. Some human rights entities estimate the number of political detainees in Egypt to exceed 60,000 since the military coup in 2013 when the late President Mohamed Morsi’s regime was overthrown and the army’s commander, Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, ruled the country. Al-Sisi then amended the constitution so that he can continue ruling the country till 2030.