The Kafr Al-Sheikh prosecution released on Sunday a high school student arrested for possession of a ruler bearing the “Rabaa” sign, on bail set at EGP 500.
A Balteem Secondary Industrial School student, Khaled Mohamed Baqara, 15, was detained since 25 November for possessing a ruler displaying both Rabaa and Anti Coup Alliance insignia.
Baqara’s lawyer, Amr Aly Al-Din, said the bail had been paid; Baqara had not been released at time of print. He added that despite the decision issued for Baqara’s release, he remains under investigation.
Arrest warrants for Baqara’s father and two of his teachers, Ashraf Asslan and Hamido Al-Kheish, have also been issued by Kafr Al-Sheikh Prosecution last week. They are wanted for “inciting the student to carry the ruler to school”.
The Arab Network for Human Rights Information (ANHRI) condemned Baqara’s detention in a statement released last week. ANHRI demanded that the student be released, all charges against him dropped and that he not face further prosecution. The group also requested that his safety be guaranteed and called for the release of “all those detained for peacefully expressing their opinions”.
The Rabaa insignia on the ruler refers to a square in Cairo, known as Rabaa Al-Adaweya, which hosted a sit-in by supporters of former President Mohamed Morsi. The 14 August dispersal of the sit-in resulted in the death and injury of hundreds.
ANHRI said the Rabaa sign has various interpretations, “such as demanding investigations into the dispersal of the sit-in or it could serve as a memorial for the victims of the dispersal, or it could be a show of support for former president Mohamed Morsi… people carrying the symbol should not be punished”.
According to the father, the incident started when a teacher found his son in possession of the ruler. The student was taken to the headmaster who called security. He was then escorted to the police station where a complaint was filed.
Al-Din said that the teacher asked that the student stop using the ruler but the student persisted. This prompted the teacher to go through the student’s bag only to find two additional notebooks also bearing Rabaa insignia.