Four individuals were arrested from their organization’s office on Thursday and investigated for holding street children in an apartment and inciting them to protest.
The individuals in question are the founder of the Belady Foundation, Mohamed Hassanein, his wife Aya Hegazy and two volunteers who work with the organization.
Belady was launched in September 2013 with the aim of executing various developmental projects. The group’s Facebook page shows some of its activities since September 2013, including a sanitation project, a campaign against sexual harassment and, most recently, a rehabilitation program for street children.
Ashhad al-Salhy, who worked with the organization, explained on his personal Facebook page that they had acquired headquarters in downtown Cairo after deciding to work with street children, and devised a rehabilitation program aiming to channel the energy of street children into positive activities, encouraging them to reintegrate into society.
The organization’s Facebook page shows pictures of the children engaging in activities such as drawing, recycling and music.
Salhy says that residents of Ezbet Abu Hashish came to the institution on Thursday and accused them of withholding a missing child. They returned again with a large group and attacked the offices, which is when police came and took the four adults and children who were present.
After being held in an undisclosed location for two days, an investigation commenced Saturday and continued until midday on Sunday.
The Interior Ministry released a statement regarding the arrests, which claimed the children taken by police from the premises had testified that they had been paid by the defendants to participate in protests and instructed to sexually assault each other in order to make it hard for them to return to their families.
Mostafa Shaaban, one of two lawyers in attendance during the investigation, said on his Facebook page that Hegazy and Hassanein both face charges of running an unlicensed organization.