CAIRO: A public prosecution office on Sunday ordered the release of a blogger detained for almost a month in Cairo’s Tora prison.
Mohamed Refaat Bayyoumy, a 21-year-old student of mass communications, turned himself in to state security investigations on July 21 after security forces raided his apartment at midnight.
Bayyoumy’s hard disk and various books were seized during the raid.
Lawyer Sayid Abdel-Ghani told Daily News Egypt last week that officers told Bayyoumy’s father that his son would “experience the power of the police, and they would come back using force if he did not report to state security investigations headquarters.
Bayyoumy – who has never previously been arrested – was at the cinema at the time of the raid.
He was brought before the state security prosecution office on July 24 and ordered to be held in custody during the course of investigations.
On Aug. 3 the prosecution office ordered that he be detained for a further 15 days.
Lawyer Hoda Nasrallah from the Arab Network for Human Rights Information (ANHRI), who attended the public prosecution questioning of Bayyoumy on Sunday, told Daily News Egypt that the public prosecution office decided to release him almost immediately.
“The investigation lasted only a quarter of an hour, Nasrallah said.
“Bayyoumy had been charged with membership of a banned subversive organization – the Muslim Brotherhood – and possession of literature promoting the ideas of this organization, charges which he denied, she continued.
The Muslim Brotherhood – whose members, standing as independent MPs represent the biggest opposition bloc in the People’s Assembly – is officially a banned organization.
Nasrallah said there is a risk of an administrative detention against Bayyoumy retaining him in custody.
“Bayyoumy is meant to have gone from the public prosecution office in the Fifth District to a state security investigations office and left to go either tonight or tomorrow after release procedures are complete, she said.
“We fear, however, that an administrative detention order will be issued by state security investigations in violation of the public prosecution office’s release order – this is an extremely common practice in Egypt.
Rights groups claim that tens of thousands of Egyptian political prisoners are detained in prisons under continuously-renewed administrative detention orders, sometimes for years.