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Tuesday, 19 January 2021

Egyptian student who wore 'Nation without torture' shirt completes 650 days in detention

Almost two years after his arrest, no trial date has been

Hana Afifi , Tuesday 17 Nov 2015
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A Cairo court renewed for 45 days on Tuesday the detention of high school student Mahmoud Mohamed Hussein, meaning that he will have spent 701 days in detention without being referred to trial.

Hussein was arrested at age 17 on 25 January 2014 -- the anniversary of the 2011 revolution -- as he was passing a northern Cairo checkpoint on his way home after attending a protest against both "military rule and the Muslim Brotherhood."

Supporters of Hussein, who is accused of possessing ammunition and protesting illegally, says he was targeted by police for wearing a shirt with the words "Nation without torture" written on it and a scarf with a 2011 uprising logo.

Tuesday marks 656 days of pre-trial detention for Hussein - who is being held in Cairo's Tora prison - with the court repeatedly renewing his detention for 15 or 45 days at a time.

Prosecutors have not yet referred Hussein to a court.

Hussein's brother Tarek says he does not know why his brother remains in limbo.

"At every detention renewal session, we ask [prosecutors] why the case has not yet been referred to the criminal court," his lawyer Taher Abul-Nasr told Ahram Online, saying, however, that they have never received an answer.

Amnesty International has launched a campaign to call for Hussein's release in the form of a petition addressing the public prosecutor.

Egyptian law allows pre-trial detention to last up to two years, except for appeals cases where a death sentence or a life sentence has been issued. In such cases, the detention can be renewed indefinitely.

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