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Egypt frees prominent academic after 18 months in pretrial detention

Hazem Hosni, professor of political science at Cairo University [Hazem Hosni/Twitter]
Hazem Hosni, professor of political science at Cairo University [Hazem Hosni/Twitter]

The judicial authorities in Egypt yesterday lifted conditional release measures in place against Professor Hazem Hosny since February. The Cairo prosecutor reduced the measures imposed on the professor of political science at Cairo University in June under a conditional release order lasting four months, wherein he was basically under house arrest.

Hosny spent eighteen months in pretrial detention facing charges of seeking to "overthrow the country's regime, and joining a terror group," said the state supreme court.

Egyptian security forces arrested the academic in September 2019, a day before he appeared before the country's supreme state security court. He was detained in Case number 488 of 2019, known in the media as the "dissident trap".

Prof. Hosny resigned from his job at Cairo University in April, noting that it had "withheld its testimony during my ordeal". He insisted that he would "fight to restore" his reputation.

READ: Egypt rights groups denounce referral of researcher to emergency court

"I have been waiting for the university, since the beginning of this ordeal, to give its testimony, but it failed me," he said in a letter to the university president. "I was not expecting the university to fight my political battle by my side, but I was only expecting for it to fight its own battle, the truth."

Since he took office in 2014, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi has cracked down on all dissidents. Thousands of citizens have been arrested and placed in pretrial detention for years, Human Rights Watch has reported.

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