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Egypt student held over anti-torture T-shirt freed on bail

Cairo – An Egyptian court on Tuesday released on bail a student arrested more than two years ago for wearing a T-shirt with an anti-torture slogan, his lawyer and a court official said.

Mahmoud Mohamed has been held in pre-trial detention since his arrest in Cairo on January 25, 2014. He was 18 at the time.

His brother and his lawyer said he was arrested by security forces along with his friend Islam Talaat because of his T-shirt which bore the words “Nation Without Torture”.

Amnesty International has described Mohamed as a “prisoner of conscience” and has repeatedly called for his release.

In January the watchdog said his detention “without charge or trial… is yet another appalling example of the ruthless and repressive tactics Egypt is resorting to in a bid to crush dissent”.

Amnesty said Mohamed was arrested on his way home from a protest against military rule before bing “tortured and ill-treated in detention”.

His arrest came on the third anniversary of the uprising that toppled former president Hosni Mubarak, a day marked by deadly clashes between demonstrators and security forces.

Since then he and his friend Talaat were remanded into custody several times.

But on Tuesday a court ordered their release on bail of 1 000 Egyptian pounds (100 euros, $112) each, a court official said.

Mohamed’s brother Tarek confirmed the decision in a message posted on Twitter and his lawyer Mokhtar Munir also said the young man would walk free as soon as his release papers are processed.

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