The release on bail of Mahmoud Hussein in the early hours of this morning offers a faint glimmer ofhope for Egypt’s deeply flawed justice system, said Amnesty International.
The 20-year-old spent more than two years behind bars after being arrested at the age of 18 in 2014 for wearing a “Nation Without Torture” T-shirt, and a scarf with a logo of the “25 January Revolution”. He was charged with belonging to a banned group and attending an unauthorized protest, amongst other things.
He was released at 1am this morning local Cairo time and reunited with his family after a court upheld his release yesterday on 24 March.
“Mahmoud Hussein’s release is way overdue – he has spent more than two years in prison when he should never have spent a single day behind bars. The Egyptian authorities must now drop the absurd charges against him and remove all conditions on his release so that he can be allowed to get on with his life,” said Said Boumedouha, Deputy Director of the Middle East and North Africa Program.
“The Egyptian authorities have more than two years of appalling injustice to make up for and they should start by setting up an investigation to look into allegations that he was tortured and otherwiseill-treated in detention. They must also immediately and unconditionally release all other prisoners of conscience in Egypt.”
Mahmoud Hussein was seen being carried into court yesterday due to his deteriorated health condition. The lawyer had requested his immediate release so that he can receive surgery on his leg.