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Egyptian rights activists sound alarm over pretrial detention of political detainees

A court decision to extend the pretrial detention of hundreds of political prisoners without their presence raised the ire of rights organizations calling for the detainees’ immediate release.
People walk in front of Egyptian riot police are seen on Tahrir square on the road to U.S. Embassy in Cairo, Egypt May 14, 2018. REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh - RC12866621B0

CAIRO — Egyptian rights lawyers and organizations told Al-Monitor about the dire legal violations that the Egyptian authorities are committing by issuing court decisions to extend the pretrial detention of political prisoners without allowing them to appear before a judge. These organizations have called for the release of all those whose detentions were extended in the past few weeks, specifically since early April when Egypt began implementing its preventive measures to counter the spread of the coronavirus. 

Rights lawyer Islam Salameh told Al-Monitor, “During its May 6 sessions, the Cairo Criminal Court decided to extend the pretrial detention of 700 political detainees; none of them appeared before the judge in court.”

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