A US citizen has been arrested for harbouring street children who were allegedly involved in riots and “non-peaceful demonstrations” in her apartment near Tahrir Square in downtown Cairo.
According to a statement released by the Ministry of Interior, the four arrested suspects “formed an association” in their apartment and used the children to spark violence and upheaval.
The US citizen, indentified as Aya, and her husband owned the apartment in which the children were staying. The two other suspects, a man and a woman, worked there as a teacher and a volunteer, respectively.
The police were involved in the case when a local man went looking for his son, who was missing for 15 days, according to the statement.
The statement alleges that the four suspects ordered children to throw stones at police, for which the children received money in return. Included in the statement are photographs of the woman, an Egyptian with US citizenship, her husband, and a number of children allegedly involved in the activities of the adults.
All of the children involved are “street children fleeing from their loved ones” for various periods of time. According to the statement, one alleged that he was “beaten and locked [away] by the workers and the association”.
The statement noted that the suspects admitted to “harbouring street children…in the apartment without legal justification”, although the group were in the process of applying for “licensing procedures”.
The ministry promised legal action against the four adults involved.