Egypt: Satirist troupe’s detention renewed, totalling 105 days

atfal al-shawarea
The Giza Criminal Court rejected satirist troupe Street Children’s second appeal against their lengthy pre-trial detention and further extended their detention by yet another 15 days, meaning that the four members of the group have been in detention for 105 days awaiting an investigation or even a court date, reported Daily News Egypt on 1 August 2016. This is the seventh time an Egyptian court has renewed the troupe’s detention.

This court decision follows a similar decision by the East Cairo Court made on 14 July 2016 when the group had filed their first appeal to either be released or referred to a court after completing their pre-trial detention, reported Daily News Egypt on 26 July 2016.

Four of the six young members of the troupe, aged 19 to 21, have been in detention since 9 May 2016. One member was arrested on 7 May 2016 and released on bail three days later. The sixth member was never arrested; however, all six members are under investigation.

The troupe, known for performing satirical sketches and songs and posting them online, were arrested after they posted a video on 2 May 2016 that criticised a governmental crackdown on protestors that took place in April 2016.

The troupe is facing charges of “instigating a revolt against the government”, “forming a group aiming to challenge the principles of the state and ruling authorities”, “disseminating false information that disturbs public peace” and “insulting state institutions and the president”, which combined can carry a prison term of up to five years. Additionally, lawsuits have been filed against them for “religious contempt” and their defence lawyer, Mahmoud Othman, has said that prosecutors have threatened to bring up terrorism charges on them as well.


Photo courtesy of Atfal al-Sharawea (Street Children)


Sources

» Middle East Monitor – 2 August 2016:
Egyptian satirists’ detention renewed

» Daily News Egypt – 1 August 2016:
Giza court reject second appeal against imprisonment of Street Children band

» Daily News Egypt – 26 July 2016:
Street Children band’s detention prolonged for 15 days 


More from Freemuse

» 5 July 2016: Egypt: Satirist troupe’s detention renewed, amounting to 75 days

» 11 May 2016: Egypt: Five members of satirist troupe arrested

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