Tanta Appeals Court extends detention of 9 syndicate leaders

Nine Tax Collections Syndicate members, who were arrested in mid-September in relation to a request to hold a protest were denied release and ordered to be held for an additional 15 days by the Tanta Appeals Court on Tuesday.

Lawyer Sayed al-Gamal told Mada Masr that the Kafr al-Zayat Prosecution in Gharbiya charged the nine syndicate leaders with inciting protests, striking, obstructing a public facility, criticizing Parliament and heads of state, and criticizing the trade unions bill, which Parliament is scheduled to review soon.

“The only evidence presented against the defendants is a memo that they submitted to Parliament with their comments and critiques of the trade unions bill,” Gamal said.

The arrests began when two representatives from the independent Property Tax Collectors Syndicate applied for a permit at the Sayeda Zeinab Police Station, requesting to hold a protest in front of their place of work to petition for promised raises and promotions. The authorities denied issuance of the permit, and the two workers were arrested.

In the following days, the president of the Property Tax Collectors Syndicate Tareq Kaeb, six other syndicate members, and two independent Electricians Syndicate members were detained in an arrest campaign that dotted the Upper Egyptian cities of Assiut and Minya, as well as across the Monufiya, Mansoura and Qalyubiya governorates in the Nile Delta.

Most of the syndicate members were arrested from their homes, while Kaeb was arrested in front of the of the Kafr Shokr Hospital in a small village in Qalyubiya as he arrived for a medical appointment.

The Tanta Appeals Court issued a 15-day detention renewal order for the nine syndicate members on September 20 for another 15 days.

The two Property Tax Collectors Syndicate members who submitted the request to protest were released on September 26.

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