Eight people arrested from the area surrounding the Journalists Syndicate will remain in police custody until Thursday as the National Security Agency conducts background checks on them, the Qasr al-Nil prosecution decided on Wednesday, according to lawyer Mohamed Abdel Aziz. Prosecutors will decide on Thursday whether to jail them pending investigations or release them.
The eight people are accused of protesting without a permit, illegal show of force, gathering illegally and insulting the president.
Journalists initiated the sit-in on the steps of the syndicate on Tuesday morning, as Parliament started discussing the contentious agreement, which would hand the two Red Sea islands over to Saudi Arabia.
A number of high-profile politicians attended the protest, including former presidential candidates Hamdeen Sabbahi and Khaled Ali, as well as leftist activist Kamal Khalil. However, the newly elected syndicate head Abdel Mohsen Salama opposed the sit in during a presser on Tuesday, saying that the sit in intends to implicate the syndicate in contentious issues and causes division among the journalists.
Central Security Forces blocked the roads leading to the syndicate, before storming the sit-in. A number of journalists were beaten and assaulted by police, including Sabbahi. Police arrested several protesters, including Khalil, who were all released following negotiations between security and a number of the syndicate’s board members.
However, lawyers were surprised to learn that more people were arrested from the streets surrounding the syndicate after the initial releases.
The eight people being questioned by the prosecution are: Basel Tarek, Mohamed Mostafa, Abdel Rahman Maqled, Mahmoud Negm, Mohamed Ryad, Hany Abdel Hamid, Mohamed Samir and Mohamed Ahmed.