CAIRO, May 18 (Aswat Masriya) – Prosecution renewed on Wednesday the detention of prominent human rights lawyer Malek Adly for 15 days pending investigation into charges of inciting protests, according to defence lawyer Mokhtar Mounir.
Other detainees including lawyer Sayed al-Banna and political activist Haitham Mohammadein also had their detention renewed for 15 days.
Adly, who is accused of calling for the April 25 protests, was arrested on May 5 in Cairo’s Maadi district and was taken to Shubra al-Kheima police station based on a decision by the public prosecution.
Other charges were leveled against Adly including “working to overthrow the regime, belonging to one of the associations or organisations that seek to disrupt the provisions of the constitution, broadcasting false news, and possession of publications inciting against the state.”
Calls for protest on April 25 emerged in opposition to a recently signed maritime border demarcation agreement between Egypt and Saudi Arabia.
The agreement, which requires the Egyptian government to cede sovereignty over two strategic Red Sea islands, Tiran and Sanafir, to Saudi Arabia, stirred up controversy among Egyptians.
Critics argue that the two islands are Egyptian and accuse President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi of “selling Egyptian land” in return for Saudi aid.
A number of lawyers including Adly filed a lawsuit with Egypt's administrative court against the controversial demarcation agreement. The first trial session over the agreement was held in Egypt's State Council, which adjourned the trial to June 7.
Defence lawyer Tarek al-Awady told Aswat Masriya that prosecution was interrogating Adly but his defence lawyers decided to withdraw from the interrogation session due to "legal violations". Awady could not elaborate further because of a media gag imposed on Adly's case.
Meanwhile, leading Revolutionary Socialists figure Mohammadein, whose detention was renewed as well, was arrested days ahead of April 25 amid a security sweep that specifically targeted downtown Cairo cafes and homes.
Mohammadein is accused of belonging to a "terrorist group" which the prosecution did not name, inciting protests and possession of leaflets at his house.
A group of British lawyers released a statement on Monday expressing their "serious concern" at the recent arrests and detention of a number of Egyptian lawyers, rights defenders and journalists.
An Egyptian court sentenced 152 protesters on Saturday to between two and five years in prison each after they demonstrated on Apr. 25.