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Egypt release student held for anti-torture t-shirt

Mahmoud Hussein is a 19-year-old student languishing in an Egyptian jail for wearing a “Nation Without Torture” t-shirt and a scarf marking the “25 January Revolution”. He was arrested on his way home from a protest against military rule and the Muslim Brotherhood more than 600 days ago, and has not been charged or tried for any offences. He has been tortured and ill-treated in detention and forced into signing a confession.

Tell Egypt’s Public Prosecutor to release prisoner of conscience Mahmoud Hussein immediately and unconditionally and for all charges against him to be dropped, as he is detained solely for exercising his right to freedom of expression and assembly.

Dear Public Prosecutor,

Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi said in February that “all innocent youths locked up in jail would be released”. Three months on and 19-year-old student Mahmoud Hussein is still in jail. He is innocent and should be released immediately. He is a prisoner of conscience held for more than 600 days solely for exercising his right to freedom of expression and assembly, has not been charged or tried for any offences and should be released immediately.

Everyone should be able to live without fear for the views they express or for participating peacefully in a protest. But Mahmoud Hussein has spent 20 months in jail without charge or trial for doing just that with his only offence being to have demanded an end to torture and celebrating the “25 January Revolution”.

President Sisi has publicly praised the “25 January Revolution” and called Egypt’s youth “the country’s hope”. Youths like Mahmoud Hussein should therefore be celebrated, not locked up in jail.

Mahmoud Hussein is one of many in Egypt’s prisons that are being held for months without charge or trial under renewable detention orders. But, Egypt is a signatory to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which guarantees the right to freedom of expression and assembly. Stop denying Mahmoud Hussein, and others like him, justice.

We are calling on you to:

  • Release Mahmoud Hussein immediately and unconditionally, with all charges against him dropped as he is a prisoner of conscience, detained solely for exercising his right to freedom of expression and assembly
  • Urge to set up a prompt, impartial and independent investigation into his allegations of torture and bring those responsible to justice.

Yours sincerely