General Prosecution office (Photo: Al-Ahram)
Egypt’s prosecutor-general ordered on Wednesday the release of two people pending investigation into the gang rape case that took place in 2014.
The prosecution ordered the release of Nazli Mostafa Karim and Seif Ahmed Bedour following four months of detention in what became known as the Fairmont rape case.
The release comes after online human rights campaigns demanded freeing Karim and Bedour.
Amnesty International demanded their release last month.
According to his family, Bedour was a child when the incident occurred and he had no connection to the crime, save for being a friend to one of the witnesses who willingly went to the prosecution to give her testimony in August before she and Bedour were arrested.
Bedour’s friend was released days later pending investigation.
Karim’s mother, renowned actress Noha El-Amrousy, also launched an online campaign demanding the release of her daughter. El-Amrousy said her daughter was not only a witness in the case but also a victim of all sorts of abuse, including physical and psychological abuse, by her ex-husband, a defendant in the case.
Karim was married to one of the defendants in the case, believed to have fled to London, where there is no extradition agreement between Egypt and the UK.
According to sources that spoke to Ahram Online, the defendant's lawyer filed complaints against Karim and other witnesses, reportedly for drug addiction and debauchery.
Another online campaign was launched by friends and family of event organiser Ahmed El-Ganzoury demanding his release as a witness in the case.
El-Ganzoury, Karim, and Bedour were apprehended at just about the same time.
El-Ganzoury, commonly known as Ganz, had organised the techno-dance party of mid-February 2014 that reportedly preceded the after-party held in a Nile Fairmont suite, where the rape allegedly took place.
The case went viral in July after an anonymous Instagram account published posts accusing a group of young men of being involved in a gang rape following a party at the hotel.
In September, the National Council of Women officially reported the case to the prosecution on behalf of the victim.
Five defendants were arrested and two remain at large, reportedly out of the country, after the culprits' names and photos were circulated on social media platforms.
Two suspects, Omar Hafez and Amir Zayed, were arrested between late August and September. One of them had attempted to flee the country.
Three suspects, Ahmed Toulan, Amr Hussein and Khaled Hussein, were arrested in Beirut by the Interpol in August before they were extradicted to Egypt in September.