Prosecutors Appeal Against Court Ruling Ordering Release of ‘Anti-Torture T-Shirt’ Detainee

By Aswat Masriya

Cairo – Egyptian prosecutors appealed on Wednesday against a court ruling that ordered the release of Mahmoud Mohamed, who was arrested more than two years ago whilst wearing an anti-torture T-shirt, according to the Association for Freedom of Thought and Expression (AFTE).

Mohamed, 20, was arrested with Islam Talaat in Jan. 2014, on the anniversary of the 2011 Uprising, for wearing shirts emblazoned with the words “nation without torture”. They have both being in pre-trial detention for more than two years.

A court ordered their release on a bail of EGP 1000 (around $112) on Tuesday. But prosecutors appealed against the verdict and they are still in custody.

A court hearing will be held on Thursday to decide on whether to uphold Tuesday’s ruling which orders their release.

Mohamed Abdel Aziz, a human rights lawyer, told Aswat Masriya that the grounds for the prosecutors’ appeal are unclear, but it is common for prosecutors to appeal against release orders.

In January, Mohamed had completed two years in preventive detention, after which he remained in custody in contravention to the law, his lawyers previously stated.

According to article 143 of Egypt’s Code of Criminal Procedure, no person may be held in custody pending investigation or trial for more than two years.

In February, Mohamed’s case was referred to State Security prosecution, which meant that he faced the risk of standing trial before the criminal court’s terrorism division.

Amnesty International had launched a campaign calling for Hussein’s immediate release, and described him as a “prisoner of conscience detained solely for exercising his right to freedom of expression and assembly.”

Source: All Africa