The Arabist

The Arabist

By Issandr El Amrani and friends.

Police stalls detainees' release

News has been circulating among the activist circles that the police is stalling the release of three detainees as ordered by the State Security prosecutor two days ago. 

Nadda al-Qassas, Rasha 3azab and Ashraf Ibrahim, spent last night in Dokki, Bassateen, and 3abdeen police stations, respectively.

The detainees, according to an activist source, were transferred from Tora and Qanater prisons yesterday to the State Security HQ in Lazoughli Sq, downtown Cairo. After that, they were moved to the police stations, where they spent the night, and were still locked up there, despite protests from their lawyers.

I spoke with Ahmad Helmi, one the detainees' lawyers at 4pm, Cairo time, but he had Nada beside him. He said, the lawyers had been planning a demo in front of the Dokki police station till they released Nada. "State Security was definitely monitoring our phone calls," he said, laughing. "As soon as they heard a 'demo' was planned, Nada was released. She's beside me now. I want them to hear me now as I'm speaking to you: We are going to demonstrate in front of 3abdeen and Bassateen if Ashraf and Nada aren't released right away. You hear me?"

He then passed the phone to Nada, with whom I briefly spoke over the phone. She is in good spirit.

Helmi and other lawyers are on their way to 3abdeen police station, and are planning to head to Bassateen later, threatening to organize a sit in, if the release of the two activists are further stalled.

UPDATE: Ashraf Ibarhim and Rasha 3azab were finally released around 6pm. I spoke with Ashraf over the phone. He was as funny as always, and his morale was high. He's sending his regards to all those who are campaigning for the detainees' release.