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68 people fined LE50,000 for protesting on January 25
Courtesy: Mohamed Gamal

A misdemeanors court fined 68 people LE50,000 each on Tuesday for illegally protesting on the fourth anniversary of the January 25 revolution earlier this year, according to Sameh Samir, a lawyer working on the case.

State media sources had reported that the protesters were acquitted in the case. However, Samir told Mada Masr that the defendants were only acquitted on the charge of illegal assembly, but were found guilty of protesting without permission.

At least 25 people were killed and 516 arrested in clashes that took place on January 25, 2015, according to Interior Ministry sources. The Hisham Mubarak Law Center reported that they were only able to track 198 of these cases, and accused the Interior Ministry of witholding information on the remaining detainees.

Samir told Mada Masr on Tuesday that only 80 protesters still remained in detention pursuant to their arrest. Of these 80 detainees, 12 were minors who were acquitted and released from custody earlier this month.

Samir said the defense team would appeal the verdict handed down to the remaining 68 detainees on Tuesday.

By law, if the defendants do not pay the fine, they must serve three months in detention, Samir said. He asserted that his clients would not pay the fine and would remain in custody until next month, which would mark three months since the day of their arrest.

The January 25 clashes were fiercest in Cairo, specifically in the northern district of Matareya. Other casualties were reported in Haram and Alexandria.

The Interior Ministry had blamed the Muslim Brotherhood for the violence, saying the group wanted to mar the country’s celebrations for the anniversary of the revolution. The ministry claimed that Brotherhood members fired the shots that claimed so many lives, insisting that security forces had received orders to deal with the situation cautiously and protect citizens.