Human Rights Monitor submitted a complaint to the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention urging them to demand the immediate release of the three women protesters arrested from a protest at Manoura University on 12 November last year.
The three protesters, Abrar Alaa Al-Anany, 19 years old, Menatullah Mustafa Al-Belehy 18 years old and Yoursa Al-Khatib 22, were arrested as clashes arose between security forces and student protesters who were chanting against the current government.
Security forces invaded Mansoura University Campus and fired birdshots and tear gas at the protesting students resulting in the injury of at least 70 students. Students took shelter at the Faculty of Pharmacy, where the three students were helping the injured and got arrested there.
The three women were kept at the university guards room where they were insulted and physically attacked. They were then transferred to Mansoura I Police Station, where they remained in detention for 12 hours without any charges being given to them. They were interrogated by the prosecution which ordered their detention pending investigations for 15 days and ordered their transfer to Minyat Al-Nassr Prison on 14 November after charging them with affiliating to a banned group, disturbing public order, chanting against General Sisi, and attacking state institutions and attacking police officers. This accusation was denied later on by university guards.
On 24 December they were interrogated again in the prosecution and were subjected to a full body cavity search and were mistreated and insulted as well in front of the prosecutor. On the same day the prosecution ordered their detention pending investigations for 45 days.
Inside Minyat Al-Nasser Prison they were physically and verbally attacked and were kept in the same cells with convicted criminal detainees. They were also subjected to mistreatment and were punished by being prevented from sitting on the ground as prison guards threw cold water on the ground, in the cold weather of winter.
On 18 January the prosecution referred the girls to trial and scheduled 8 February for their first session at Al-Daqahleya Criminal Court, during which families of defendants were prevented from attending the courtroom. Sessions were adjourned until 20 May for the final verdict to be given.
On 21 May, tomorrow, the detained women will have completed 6 months of detention on remand.
HRM demands the release the three women immediately and unconditionally and to drop all the fabricated charges against them, which they denied.
HRM urges Egypt to respect the right to freedom of expression enshrined in Article 19 of the International Convention on Civil and Political Rights as well as article 9 and 14 from the same conviction relating to the right of a quick and fair trial and to provide the women with adequate compensation.