Seven Alleged Egypt Black Bloc Members Released, One To Be Released Shortly

Seven alleged Black Bloc members were released Saturday pending investigations; another is expected to be released Sunday said rights lawyer Malek Adly.

The eight are accused of belonging to the Black Bloc, a group of anti-government, anarchist-inspired masked protesters. Black Bloc is not one unified group; rather several groups have adopted the name and its tactics.

In January, Egyptian Prosecutor-General Talaat Abdallah ordered the arrest of all members of the anti-state Black Bloc group.

Abdallah directed police and Egypt’s armed forces to arrest anyone suspected of being affiliated with the group. He also urged citizens to provide any information they have on the group or its members and assist in their arrest by authorities.

The eight released today were arrested in April from their homes.

Since the start of 2013 around 2,000 people have been arrested during clashes in Cairo, most of whom have been released but not formally acquitted. Dozens have been arrested from their homes for allegedly being members of the Black Bloc.

Several well-known activists have also been put on trial in recent months, including April 6 Youth Movement founding member Ahmed Maher, blogger Alaa Abdel-Fattah, No to Military Trials founding member Mona Seif, as well as Justice and Freedom Youth member Ahmed Duma, who remains in custody.