- Middle East/North Africa
A lawyer for detainees in the presidential palace clashes Wednesday night has said that prosecutors are under political pressure to keep them detained.
Marwa Farouk told Al-Masry Al-Youm Friday that the prosecutor admitted to her there was no evidence against the detainees. However, Farouk quoted the prosecutor as saying that "certain parties" were trying to keep them in custody pending referral to trial.
Farouk added that she felt the "parties" in question were the prosecutor general and the Muslim Brotherhood. The clashes came after Islamist supporters of President Mohamed Morsy attacked a sit-in staged by opposition protesters.
The East Cairo prosecutor's office has accused the defendants of unlawful assembly, thuggery, intentionally damaging public and private property, arms possession and murder, according to Farouk.
A number of detainees, in turn, accuse Brotherhood supporters of beating and torturing opposition protesters. Some defendants held Brotherhood leaders such as Khairat al-Shater, Mohamed al-Beltagy and Essam al-Erian responsible for the attack.
Additionally, several dozen detainees have alleged that Muslim Brotherhood members beat them during the clashes before detaining them and forcing them to confess to crimes they did not commit.
Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm