The Egyptian Organisation for Human Rights calls for release of detained students

The Egyptian Organisation for Human Rights calls for release of detained students

Egyptian police detain a supporter of the Muslim Brotherhood during clashes in the northern port city of Alexandria on January 23, 2014. Clashes between rival Egyptian students at a university in Alexandria killed at least one student, a supporter of ousted Islamist president Mohamed Morsi, police said.  (AFP PHOTO/STR)

Egyptian police detain a supporter of the Muslim Brotherhood during clashes in Alexandria on January 23, 2014.
(AFP PHOTO/STR)

By Aya Nader

The Egyptian Organisation for Human Rights (EOHR) spearheaded on Tuesday an initiative to release a number of students kept in detention for their role in protests.

The initiative is calling for the release of detained students “to safeguard their future,” as they are of a young age – particularly those who have been detained without being involved in violence.

The organisation has received several complaints concerning 94 detained students who have protested in universities and different squares since October 2013. The organisation will issue a request to the prosecutor general for the release of all students in preventive detention.

Tarek Zaghloul, EOHR’s logistical manager, said regardless of whether or not a student is a Muslim Brotherhood member, he should be released as long as investigations and the prosecution reveal that neither acts of violence have been committed nor incriminating evidence found. “Rights cannot be [selective or conditional],” said Zaghloul.

The organisation also commended interim President Adly Mansour’s speech on Sunday in which he requested that the prosecutor general conduct a legal review of detainees not involved in violence, particularly university students who were not implicated.

The organisation called preventive detention a violation of the rights of the accused in accordance with international legislation and charters. It is also in conflict with the Protest Law, it said, the violation of which entailing the payment of a fine rather than detainment.

EOHR President Hafez Abu Saada added in a statement that preventive detention of an individual charged with a crime pending investigation is a repression of personal freedom. Therefore, detention should not occur until the defendant is given the right to a fair trial.

Chairman of the Journalists’ Syndicate and EOHR board member Diaa Rashwan meanwhile said he had called on President Mansour to release the detainees on Saturday.

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