Attorney General of Eastern Alexandria, Mohamed Salah, ordered Tuesday the release of Safwan Mohamed on bail without pressing charges against him. The Alexandrian activist was arrested last Sunday at a check point outside the Two Saints Church.
“There are two versions of the story,” said Mohamed Hafez, lawyer at the Arabic Network for Human Rights Information (ANHRI) and one of the lawyers representing Mohamed.
The police claimed in the report that Mohamed was arrested for chanting against the military, Hafez explained, and for calling them “mercenaries” in front of the checkpoint in front of the church, manned by both police and military forces.
The version of the story of the lawyer’s client is different. “Mohamed was arrested because when his bag was searched at the check point, they found a sticker of ‘No Military Trials for Civilians’ and pictures of protests on his tablet, which led to a discussion that provoked the officer, who then assaulted him and arrested him,” Hafez said.
The Two Saints Church was bombed on New Year’s Eve in 2011 leaving 21 dead.
Montazah prosecution questioned Mohamed on Monday to verify the police report and while investigation result was negative, ordered Mohamed to spend another night in prison pending security clearance, according to Hafez.
Mohamed did not face any charges; the ANHRI lawyer explained that the possession of the sticker which Mohamed carried with him is not against the law, yet cheering any chants that would be considered as a “threat to public security” is punishable by the penal law.
When asked if his client would press charges against the officer who assaulted him, Hafez said that he would need to consult his client first to answer this question and that he would be released at around 11pm on Tuesday.
Safwan Mohamed is a founding member of Al-Dostour Party in Alexandria and a renowned figure among activist circles. He was a member of the National Association for Change, founded in 2010 under Mohamed ElBaradei, and is a member of the executive office of the movement “Lazem”, which calls for “democracy and social justice”.
Mohamed was active during the early days of the uprising against former president Hosni Mubarak, and ran against Al-Nour Party’s Abdel Moneim ElShahat and lawyer Mohamed Dwidar in the 2011 parliamentary elections.