Cairo: 31 May 20201

The Arabic Network for Human Rights Information (ANHRI) has called on the Minister of the Interior to implement the court order issued yesterday to release Ahmed Manaa, Mohamed Abdel-Aal, and Bahaa Al-Din Zaki. It is also urging the Interior Minister to issue directives to his subordinates at the Haram Police Station to stop their intransigence and violation of the law, while alleging they are awaiting a signal from the National Security officers to approve or command the release order, a matter that has no legal ground or basis  but rather constitutes a contravention of the Constitution, the law, and Egypt’s obligations under international treaties and covenants.

In the early morning of May 13, the security forces arrested Ahmed Manaa, Mohamed Abdel-Aal, and Bahaa Al-Din Zaki and took them to the Haram Police Station, before they appeared before the Haram Prosecution which accused them of protesting without license and burning the Israeli flag. The three were ordered detained for four days pending Investigation No. 2021 Haram Misdemeanor and their detention was later renewed for further 15 days.

However, while appearing before the Haram Misdemeanor Partial Court in 6th of October City to consider their detention renewal session, the court ordered the release of the three men after obliging each of them to pay bail of 500 EGP. Once they were transferred to the Haram Police Station to pay the bail in preparation for their release, their lawyers were surprised at the intransigence of the police station’s officials as they refused to receive the bail amount and obstructed the payment procedures. It had been midnight until the lawyers managed to lead the police department’s officials receive the money and prove the payment of the bail. Afterwards, the lawyers escorted the three of them to leave the police station but they were surprised that their clients are being held in custody and brought before the criminal investigation within the police station. They were told that the release order issued for the three men will not be implemented until after receiving the approval from the National Security officer. All the lawyers ’attempts to convince the police station’s officials that this represents a violation of the Constitution and the law had been in vain. The lawyers tried to prove them such alleged approval undermines a binding judicial decision and is illegal (has no legal ground), but the Haram Police Station officials continued their intransigence and arbitrariness refraining from implementing the release order issued for the three young men. The three are still being held in custody and haven’t been freed till now.

ANHRI asserts that what the Haram Police Station officials have done represents a flagrant violation of the law and a blatant encroachment on the rights of the three men receiving the release order. Their detention has now become illegal, and hence, the Minister of Interior is responsible to immediately stop this legal farce and issue an urgent directive to his subordinates to release the three men, and to open an investigation with the police station’s officials for their violation of the law. ANHRI also warns against compromising the safety of three detainees or fabricating any retaliatory charges against them.

Commands are above the law