Egyptian prosecution's appeal blocks release of detained 'anti-torture T-shirt' student

Ahram Online , Wednesday 23 Mar 2016

The lawyer of Mahmoud Hussein says prosecutors quickly appealed a judge decision on Tuesday to release his client on bail, calling move 'illegal'

Mahmoud Mohamed
Mahmoud Mohamed Hussein (Photo circulated on social media)

Mahmoud Mohamed Hussein, the Egyptian teenager who was ordered released on bail on Tuesday after spending over two years in detention following his arrest wearing an anti-torture T-shirt, has not yet walked free.

On Tuesday night, the prosecution appealed the court decision and blocked his release, his lawyer Mokhtar Mounib told Ahram Online.

Hussein has been held at the Tora prison in southern Cairo since he was first arrested in January 2014.

"Unfortunately, the eastern Cairo prosecution has appealed the release of violation of the law," Hussein's lawyer Mounib said.

Since Egyptian law limits pre-trial detention to two years, Mahmoud has qualified for unconditional release since January of this year.

The Cairo criminal court will rule on the prosecution's appeal on Thursday.

Even if the judge rejects the prosecutions' appeal against Hussein's release, release administrative procedures might take days.

Hussein, who has faced charges of illegal protesting, possessing molotov cocktails and “belonging to a terrorist organisation" has since been kept in preventative detention but never stood trial.

Mahmoud was arrested on 25 January 2014, the third anniversary of the 2011 revolution, on his way home from downtown Cairo.  

Hussein was 17 years old at the time of his arrest.

His family and lawyer insist he was detained at a checkpoint in northern Cairo while wearing a T-shirt that read "A nation without torture." 

His detention has sparked widespread condemnation from political activists and local and international human rights groups.

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