East Cairo Prosecution appealed on Wednesday a decision to release 20-year-old Mahmoud Mohamed, known as “the T-shirt detainee,” lawyer Mokhtar Mounir told Mada Masr.
Cairo Criminal Court determined Tuesday night to release Mohamed and his friend Islam Talaat, who was detained with him, with a LE1000 fine, but the two remain in prison until a decision is made Thursday as to their fate.
Mahmoud and Talaat were arrested at a checkpoint on Cairo’s Ring Road on their way home in a microbus after celebrating the third anniversary of the January 25 revolution. Mahmoud was wearing a “Jan 25” scarf and a T-shirt with the Nation without Torture campaign logo on it.
“The prosecution appealed the decision, because it believes a boy wearing an anti-torture T-shirt is more dangerous than Mahmoud al-Zawahiri and Magdy Qorqor,” Mounir said, referring to two recently released Islamist leaders. The lawyer added that the prosecution’s appeal is in violation of the law, as Mohamed and Talaat have been held in pre-trial detention since January 25, 2014.
The maximum limit for detention without trial under Egyptian law is two years. But East Cairo Prosecution referred the case to state security prosecution after this time.
Mounir told Mada Masr at the time that the prosecution was procrastinating. “After two years, public prosecution discovered the case falls outside its jurisdiction?”
Mahmoud’s older brother, Tarek Tito, described his brother as “a child of the January 25 Revolution,” saying that the state had considered him a “terrorist” and an “enemy of the nation,” on his Twitter account. He added that his brother’s health had deteriorated in prison, and he was only granted permission to visit him occasionally.
International and local rights organizations, including Amnesty International, the Arabic Network for Human Rights Information and Human Rights Watch, have pushed for Mohamed’s immediate and unconditional release over the last two years.