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Ramadan Flavoured Arrests in Egypt

@Shahdan_shosh shares this photograph of 11 young men arrested for having Suhoor - a latenight meal to prepare them to fast the next day during the Muslim month of Ramadan (Source: Twitter)

@Shahdan_shosh shares this photograph of 11 young men arrested for having Suhoor – a latenight meal to prepare them to fast the next day during the Muslim month of Ramadan (Source: Twitter)

A year has passed since the ousting of Egypt's president Mohamed Morsi and the new regime has already received a lot of criticism for the declining human rights condition which arbitrary arrest is a big part of.

In particular, the new gatherings law of Egypt has raised anger among Egyptians, many of whom have tried to challenge that law only to find themselves arrested, including some prominent activists such as Alaa Abd El Fattah, sentenced to 15 years in prison last month, for organizing a protest without a permit.

With the early days of the month of Ramadan, the holy month of fasting for Muslims, police forces raided a house where a group of 11 young men were having a sahoor (an end of night meal Muslims take before fasting for the day) party, apparently for violating the laws of gathering as some speculate. Netizens started the hashtag #معتقلي_السحور [ar], which translates to Sahoor detainees.

Ahmad Abd Allah posted on his Facebook wall the following [ar]:

١١ واحد بيتسحروا في بيت واحد منهم في دمنهور … الداخلية قبضت عليهم بتهمة التظاهر من غير تصريح … الحرية لمعتقلي السحور

Eleven people were having sahoor in one of their homes. The Ministry of Interior arrested them for illegal gathering… free the sahoor detainees

Twitter user Mohamed Hazem, from Damnhour, tweeted in support of his friends:

I don't know if I should cry on the massacre committed by the republican guards or on my 11 detained friends

He sarcastically tweeted later on:

Will the Public Prosecutor consider the evidence as cheese and olives or will it make it [up] as Molotov

And Shahdan-shosh tweeted a photograph of the 11 detainees and noted:

Their crime: a group suhoor. They were arrested with foul (beans), falafel and yoghurt in their possession.

Activist Wael Abbas tweeted to his 265k followers:

I'll probably cancel my yearly Iftar [meal to break the fast] party in respect to the new protests law :)

He added:

Anyway, half of those who I invited for Iftar last year are either in jail, in exile or are on the run :)

Last year, Morsi's regime was about to impose a similar law which prohibits gatherings which did not see light after an outcry from international organisations. The Egyptian blog WikiThawra [ar], which is run by the Egyptian Center for Economic and Social Rights alleges that at least 80 people have died in custody over the past year and more than 40,000 people were detained or indicted between July 2013 (ousting of Morsi's government) and mid-May 2014.

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