Court orders release of Egypt's 'Anti-torture shirt' detainee

Thursday 24-03-2016 01:54 PM

Anti-torture detaineed Mahmoud Mohamed - Photo from Tarek Tito (brother) Facebook page

CAIRO, Mar 24 (Aswat Masriya) - A Cairo court rejected on Thursday the appeal lodged by prosecutors against the release of a student arrested in 2014 whilst wearing an anti-torture T-shirt, according to the Association for Freedom of Thought and Expression's (AFTE) official Facebook page.

Mahmoud Mohamed, who became known as the “anti-torture T-shirt detainee”, and another defendant, Islam Talaat, have been in pre-trial detention for more than two years.

They were arrested on the third anniversary of the 2011 Uprising for wearing shirts emblazoned with the words "nation without torture." Prosecutors accused them of belonging to a terrorist organisation, possessing explosives and inciting violence, according to AFTE. 

On Tuesday, a court ordered their release on a bail of EGP 1000 (around $112) each. But prosecutors appealed against the verdict on Wednesday.

In January, Mohamed and Talaat had completed two years in preventive detention, after which they remained in custody in contravention to the law, their lawyer 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. 

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

Mohamed was 18 when he was arrested in January 2014.

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