Cairo court orders release of 'nation without torture' teen on bail: Lawyer

El-Sayed Gamal El-Din , Tuesday 22 Mar 2016

Nation without torture
A file photo of Mahmoud Mohamed (Photo: Freedom for the Brave campaign)

A Cairo court ordered Tuesday the release of a teenager who was arrested in 2014, allegedly for wearing a shirt denouncing torture, on EGP 1,000 bail (approximately $112) pending investigation, his lawyer said.

The order came hours after Mahmoud Mohamed Hussein's case was reportedly brought up at a meeting between Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi and a group of prominent intellectuals who called on the Egyptian president to instigate his release.

Hussein, who was 18 years old at the time, was arrested on 25 January 2014 as he was on his way home from a demonstration commemorating Egypt's 2011 revolution.

He was detained at a checkpoint in northern Cairo while wearing a T-shirt that read "A nation without torture," presumably in reference to reported police abuses.

Many critics, including his family and lawyer, believe he was arrested because of the slogan emblazoned on his T-shirt.

Hussein, who has not been tried, is facing charges of illegal protesting, possessing Molotov cocktails and "belonging to a terrorist organisation."

His detention has sparked widespread condemnation from political activists and human rights advocates, with Amnesty International launching a petition in late 2015 calling for his release.

Egyptian law allows pre-trial detention to last up to two years.

Correction: It was initially reported that Egyptian authorities had released the defendant. He is still behind bars as the order has not yet been executed.

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