Six detainees arrested during a solidarity protest with alleged Black Bloc members were acquitted of their charges on Monday by the Fifth Settlement court during the first session of their appeal.
The detainees were referred to trial immediately after their arrest on 30 April, and were sentenced to five and a half years in prison, as well as a fine of EGP 30,000 each.
Doaa Mustafa, a lawyer and member of the Al-Tayar Al-Sha’aby’s (Popular Current) legal committee, said the acquittal was swift since the initial verdict was “nonsense”, adding that there was no legal basis for the case in the first place.
The detainees were protesting outside the court in solidarity with eight people accused of involvement in the Black Bloc group. On 2 May, their case was referred to an urgent court hearing and the sentence was issued in a single hearing.
“The court case was rushed through,” Mustafa said, about the harsh verdict the detainees had received. They were sentenced for damaging a criminal court building, as well as a police truck and booth, insulting policemen, and causing unrest.
The prosecutor general issued arrest warrants for 22 people for their alleged involvement in the Black Bloc group in April. Seven alleged Black Bloc members were arrested after the police raided over 22 houses. An eighth person turned himself in one day later. Investigations into the eight detainees will resume on Tuesday.
“If the eight detainees are also released tomorrow, the court will be making amends with us,” Mustafa said.