68 children arrested since start of Egypt protests released

Nubian boys from Aswan, Yahya Khairy Abdel Qader and Muhamad Ahmad [Gehadashraf007/Twitter]

Egypt’s public prosecution has announced the release of 68 children arrested since the beginning of the 20 September demonstrations.

The announcement has sparked fierce criticism among human rights organisations, who question why children are being arrested and what happened to them in the week they were detained. All the children were aged between 10 and 15, and were mainly from Upper Egypt, where the bulk of the protests are taking place. Demonstrators have taken to the streets in Egypt for over a week now, in response to calls by whistleblower Mohamed Ali to unite against the ruling regime.

Egyptians are tired of the severe human rights abuses, soaring living costs and widespread house demolitions that are taking place across the country. Among the released children are two Nubian boys from Aswan, Yahya Khairy Abdel Qader and Muhamad Ahmad, who were arrested after demonstrating in Aswan.

Despite receiving a promise from Egyptian authorities that their children would be released, authorities transferred the two boys from Aswan, some 900 kilometres, to Cairo to present them to the public prosecution. All 68 children were transferred from their hometowns to the capital to appear before the prosecution.

After news of the arrest of Yahya and Muhamad, protesters gathered in front of the Interior Ministry headquarters in Aswan, demanding their release, and promising to escalate demonstrations if they were not. Nubians, the indigenous people of Sudan and the Aswan region, are subjected to land expropriation, cultural marginalisation, racial discrimination and forced displacement at the hand of the Egyptian authorities.

Source: Middle East Monitor