Loai Nagaty, a 21-year-old activist arrested by the military at a protest in Cairo’s Tahrir Square on 29 June, was released Thursday from military detention on medical grounds, but is still awaiting a military trial.
“I can’t believe I am out after all the hardships I faced inside the military prison,” Nagaty told Al-Masy Al-Youm in an interview shortly after his release.
“I was insulted and beaten up in the police station and the military prison just like a thug,” he said.
Nagaty was arrested along with 14 other protesters during clashes that erupted on 28 June between the security forces and families of the revolution’s martyrs, who were protesting in Tahrir Square and near the Ministry of Interior. Nagaty was then transferred to military prosecutors for interrogation.
His lawyer, Ahmed Heshmat, told Al-Masry Al-Youm that a police officer named Sherif al-Tabbakh accused Nagaty of attacking security forces with rocks and water bottles.
Three other protesters, Hussein Murad, Ahmed Feqy and Islam Saber, were also released on Thursday.
Heshmat said that he submitted a medical report on Thursday morning to the military prosecutor showing that Nagaty suffers from irritable bowel syndrome, a disorder that sometimes leads to numbness in the limbs and severe headaches.
“They released Nagaty after I submitted a medical report that proves his weak health condition, but the charges were not dropped,” said Heshmat.
“The medical report was also a defense against the charges, because it proves that he could not be a thug or involved in attacking the security forces, due to the danger to his health,” Nagaty’s lawyer said.
Two witnesses gave testimonies in Nagaty's defense on Thursday, saying that though the young activist was observing the clashes, he did not take part in the fighting.
Nagaty, a computer science student, describes himself on Twitter as a “free thinker” who is interested in history, psychology, philosophy, poetry and politics.
“I will participate in the Tahrir protests tomorrow,” said Nagaty of the major protest planned for Friday, 8 July.
The moment he left military prison, Nagaty sarcastically tweeted, “Military prison is one of the best ways to increase the number of followers.”
Nagaty's next interrogation session is scheduled for 13 July, the outcome of which will determine whether he will be further detained or put on trial in front of a military court, in which he faces a maximum penalty of five years in prison.