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Cairo court renews detention for 'nation without torture' student

Menna Alaa El-Din , Wednesday 6 Jan 2016
Mahmoud Mohamed
Mahmoud Mohamed (Photo: Courtesy of Tarek Mohamed's page on Facebook)
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A Cairo court renewed for 45 days on Wednesday the detention of high school student Mahmoud Mohamed Hussien, the first detention for Hussien in 2016 without being referred to trial.

With the renewal, Hussien will continue to spend 757 days in pre-trial detention.

“Mahmoud is an example of how pre-trial detention is now the punishment, whereas many defendants in cases related to torture and corruption are being released pending trial,” Hussien’s brother Tarek told Ahram Online.

“Mahmoud will miss one more year of school due to his continued detention,” he continued.  

Hussein was arrested at age 17 on 25 January 2014 -- the anniversary of the 2011 revolution -- as he was passing a northern Cairo security 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, say 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.

The international rights group Amnesty International has launched a campaign calling for Hussein's release in the form of a petition addressing the public prosecutor.

“We are calling on you to release Mahmoud Hussein immediately and unconditionally, with all charges against him dropped as he is a prisoner of conscience, detained solely for exercising his right to freedom of expression and assembly,” the petition read.  

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