The Giza Criminal Court extended the detention of Mahmoud Mohamed, widely known as the “T-shirt boy,” for a further 45 days, despite him already serving two years in prison without charge, lawyer Mokhtar Mounir reported.
Article 143 of Egypt’s criminal procedures law sets a two-year maximum time limit for the renewal of pre-trial detention, unless the crime is punishable by death or life imprisonment, as per amendments by interim President Adly Mansour in 2013, Mounir explained.
The 19-year-old has been held without charge in Cairo’s Tora Prison since he was arrested on January 25, 2014, on his way home in a microbus. Mohamed was wearing a T-shirt with an anti-torture slogan on it and a scarf commemorating the January 25, 2011 revolution.
“We have a clear and explicit law that obliges the court to release him,” Mounir said, adding, “This is a blatant violation and a clear disregard for the rule of law.” He described the decision to extend Mohamed’s detention as a “judicial revolution” against the criminal procedures law.
The judge should have looked at the date Mohamed was arrested and released him immediately without looking at the case file, Mounir argued.
“We are tired of a judiciary that follows its own whims,” the Association of Freedom and Thought and Expression (AFTE) lawyer Mounir told Mada Masr.
AFTE submitted a memo to the general prosecutor late last month, arguing that the detention order against Mohamed should be dropped.
“As lawyers, we have become desperate for a judiciary that applies the law,” Mounir said, lamenting what he described as the systematic detention of Egypt’s youth, with complete disregard for the provisions of the law. “We are now in a state of political judges,” he concluded.
The repeated renewal of Mohamed’s dentition has prompted outrage from both local and international human rights organizations.