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ICC Note:

Egyptian police are hunting two Helwan militia defendants who broke free of a transfer vehicle after a court session. Eleven other detainees have escaped custody since the beginning of August, including two defendants in the Upper Egyptian Daesh case. This case refers to an unlawful group who was formed for the purpose of overturning the constitution and conducting terrorist attacks on Christians. Targeted violence against Egyptian Christians have left many fearful of the future.  

08/29/2017 Egypt (Coptic United) – Egyptian security forces are attempting to trace two detainees who escaped from a prisoner transport vehicle on Sunday evening.

The men were being transferred from the Police Academy in New Cairo to Tora prison in Maadi following a court session, Al-Arabic Ahram website reported.

According to the prosecution s investigations, the driver felt movement inside the prison van and pulled over to find five detainees attempting to escape. He shot at them, injuring one. The injured man was later transferred to hospital.

Two of the detainees were arrested, while another two managed to flee.

The interior ministry has not yet issued any statements about the escape attempt.

The five defendants are on trial in the case known in local media as the “Helwan militia cell,” a trial of 215 defendants charged with forming a militant group that targets police forces.

The Helwan Brigades group first appeared in a video in August 2014, in which they vowed to target all police facilities in Helwan, a southern suburb of Cairo.

The video showed a group of 12 men wearing masks and holding rifles. Some were making the four-fingered gesture associated with August s 2013 forced dispersal of the Rabaa Al-Adawiya sit-in.

Al-Ahram reported that 11 other detainees have managed to escape custody since the beginning of August, in several different cases.

They include two among 66 defendants in the “Upper Egyptian Daesh case” who are charged with forming an unlawful group that calls for overturning the constitution and seeks to harm national unity by terroristic attacks on state institutions and Christians.

The detainees escaped during their transfer to court earlier this month.

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