Egyptian police deny arrests of Ramadan fast-breakers

Egyptian police deny arrests of Ramadan fast-breakers
Blog: An Egyptian police spokesman has said on television that there is no law that prohibits publicly breaking the month-long Ramadan fast during the day.
2 min read
30 Jun, 2015
The post-sunset iftar meal is greatly enjoyed, and often shared [Getty]
Recent media reports of 25 people being arrested in an upscale Cairo suburb for eating and drinking in the day during the Islamic holy month are false, said an Egyptian police spokesman.

"The Quran allows people to break their fasts if they are sick or travelling," Abu Bakr Abd al-Karim told the satellite station ONTV. "There is no law that criminalises eating during the day in Ramadan."

The news of the arrests was dubious, said the official, because the names of the arrested had not been released - suggesting they were probably taken in for other offences.

"I am unaware of the arrests, but if they were arrested for not fasting, the matter will be investigated," Abd al-Karim said.

had reported on Saturday that police in the Fifth Settlement had released 25 people taken into custody for "breaking societal norms by eating and drinking the day during Ramadan".

Public eating and drinking in the daylight hours of Ramadan is a recurrent subject of media debate in Egypt.

Each Ramadan comes with reports of police arresting public fast-breakers and shutting down cafes that serve during fasting hours - despite that fact the the country has no laws against such acts.

In the more conservative Gulf countries publicly breaking the fast before sundown can result in penalties of up to a month in jail.

This year, Iranian police raided a hotel restaurant and arrested 92 young people for publicly breaking their fasts.

The Islamic State group also released a video, last week, of two men publicly being flogged for allegedly breaking their fasts.