‘Nation without torture’ student referred to Egyptian state security prosecution

Ahram Online , Wednesday 17 Feb 2016

High school student Mahmoud Hussein, who some claim was arrested for wearing a shirt with a revolutionary slogan on it, has been in pre-trial detention for more than 700 days

Mahmoud Mohamed
A file photo of Mahmoud Mohamed (Photo: Freedom for the brave campaign)

Cairo prosecutors referred to high state security prosecution high school student Mahmoud Mohamed Hussein, who many claim was arrested for wearing a shirt with the words “nation without torture,” his lawyer announced on Wednesday.

Human rights lawyer Mokhtar Mounir stated on Wednesday on his Facebook account that the general prosecution decided that Hussein’s case falls within the jurisdiction of high state security.

On 10 February, the court renewed the pre-trial detention for another 45 days for Hussein, who has been detained without trial or official charge for over 700 days.

Hussein, who was 17 at the time, was arrested in 2014 on the anniversary of the 25 January revolution of 2011 while passing through a northern Cairo security checkpoint. He was on his way home from a protest against "military rule" and the Muslim Brotherhood group.

Activists claim that Hussein, who is accused of possessing ammunition and protesting without police authorisation, was targeted by police for wearing the shirt with the words “nation without torture” and a scarf with a 2011 uprising logo.

On Tuesday, prominent TV host Youssef El-Hossainy wore on his night talk show on ONTV channel a shirt with the same words written on it in solidarity with Hussein, calling for his release. 

Several local and international human rights organisations, such as Amnesty International, have called for the student's release in accordance with the Egyptian criminal procedures law.

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

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