Detained activists claim to have been assaulted by security forces transporting them from Torah Prison to court on Monday, reported state-owned Al-Ahram.
The defence team representing Ahmed Maher, founder of the 6 April Youth Movement; Mohamed Adel, a member of 6 April’s political bureau; and Ahmed Douma, a prominent activist withdrew from court at the detainees’ request, Al-Ahram reported. The activists also asked their lawyers to file a complaint to prove the assault.
The activists were each sentenced to three years in prison with hard labour and fined EGP 50,000 on 22 December 2013.
They are appealing their convictions for protesting without the Ministry of Interior’s approval under the controversial Protest Law, rioting, “thuggery”, using violence against Abdeen Courthouse security personnel and possessing melee weapons.
The National Council for Human Rights issued a report in January detailing the “suffering” of activists in detainment and asking the Ministry of Interior to stop mistreating detainees.
The ministry has repeatedly denied torturing detainees.
Interim President Adly Mansour issued the new Protest Law on 24 November. It was drafted by the Ministry of Justice and approved by the cabinet.
The law, which raised controversy among human rights activists, requires protesters to either demonstrate in areas specified by the governorate or to obtain permission from the interior ministry before holding protests; otherwise protests will be dispersed according to the law.
At the time of print, court was still in session.