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3 US Students Arrested in Protests in Cairo (video)

3 US Students Arrested in Protests in Cairo (video)

Three American students were arrested in Cairo on Monday and accused of participating in the violent clashes there between security forces and protesters calling for the ruling Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) to step down immediately and hand over power to an interim civilian government. The three Americans have all been studying at the American University in Cairo (AUC); they are Gregory Porter, 19, of Glenside, Pa.; Luke Gates, 21, of Bloomington, Ind.; and Derrik Sweeney, 20, of Jefferson City, Mo.The three of accused of “throwing Molotov cocktails from atop the A.U.C. building” near Tahrir Square. As of Tuesday afternoon, they remain in police custody.

Egyptian State TV showed footage of three men lined up against a wall with bottles of colored liquid said to be firebombs, as well as their ID cards and an Indiana drivers license.

Sweeney is a student at Georgetown University. The Georgetown Voice reports that the three students will be “interviewed” today by the State Security public prosecutor; they had also been “interviewed” on Tuesday. A tweet by Sweeney’s sister, Nicole Sweeney, says that they had been seen by the US Consul General. Sweeney’s family has issued a statement thanking the Georgetown University for their support; Sweeney’s father, Kevin Sweeney, said in an interview that “He’s a huge believer in American freedom” and added “I suspect that being with a bunch of Egyptian students he probably got caught up in something. Who knows?”

Before Monday, Gates, a student at Indiana University studying political science and Near Eastern languages and culture, had written on his Twitter account about participating in the protests:

On Monday, Gates wrote: “I think I am missing part of my ear” and, a day earlier, told of injuries to his knee and elbow. He wrote: “Back to Tahrir tonight as police set fires to everything, no doubt they will blame it on protesters.”

Three days ago he wrote of “feeling reckless” and “honestly, hopefully I die here”. Another read: “I just don’t want to feel anymore” and one which said: “saw them hanging from the bridge, realise death is the only thing that’s immortal.”

Porter attends Drexel University in Philadelphia where he is studying international area studies.

The United Nations has condemned the “clearly excessive use of force” by security police against the protesters. UN Human Rights Chief Navi Pillay has called for an independent inquiry into the deaths of at least 30 protesters since the weekend. Clashes continue for a fifth day and are now centered around the interior ministry building near Tahrir Square. The cities of Alexandria, Suez, Port Said and Aswan have also seen clashes.

On Tuesday, Field Marshal Mohamed Hussein Tantawi, the head of the SCAF, said that parliamentary elections would be held as planned on November 28 and that presidential elections would be held in July of 2012. While the main opposition group, the Muslim Brotherhood, and others have seemed satisfied with the latest concessions, the protests say they will not leave Tahrir Square until Tantawi — who served as defense minister to ousted president Hosni Mubarak for two decades — has stepped down. Said one protester to the AFP news agency:

“Tantawi is Mubarak, copy pasted. He’s Mubarak in a military uniform.”

 

Makeshift barricade
Photo of a makeshift barrier outside the interior ministry gate by Al Jazeera English

Previous Care2 Coverage

“It Will Not Be Syria, It Will Be Libya”: 20,000 in…

3,000 Occupy Tahrir Square After Clashes With Riot Police

Clashes in Cairo Leave 1 Dead, 676 Injured, Before Elections

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Photo of a makeshift clinic in Cairo by Al Jazeera English

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10 comments

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10:41PM PST on Nov 26, 2011

As a reply to this story, all three of the students have been released back to the US:

http://www.care2.com/news/member/649391755/3030894

The matter remains unsolved, however.

4:50AM PST on Nov 26, 2011

Well said, Giovanna.

4:49AM PST on Nov 26, 2011

Spreading 'democracy' on their own?

4:47AM PST on Nov 26, 2011

If these three American fools were caught throwing fire bombs and causing mischief, then the punishment they receive is warranted!
Stupid is as stupid does!

11:04AM PST on Nov 24, 2011

3 Americans arrested. That's about several hundred less Americans that have been arrested at peaceful protests here in the US by our own American police.

6:19AM PST on Nov 24, 2011

I get a feeling that this article is somehow trying to suggest that the three American students are justified in their actions because of the violence perpetrated by Egyptian authorities.

My opinion is that two wrongs don't make a right. And when protesters get violent, what do we expect the authorities to do?

The students probably will not pay the price for their stupidity! Our government will somehow intervene I'm sure.

5:37AM PST on Nov 24, 2011

... Cont (sorry, having som internet issues)
I think it's fair they were arrested. I hope they will not be treated inhumanly, but having loved ones in Tahrir I am reliefed if any extra danger is prevented regardless of the nationality and of whether they are civilians or military.
I would sign a petition to grant these students fair and humane treatment. For what the article says, I will not sign a petition simply to relase them only because they are American if they were encouraging violence.

5:36AM PST on Nov 24, 2011

Although I think it's "nice" that they support the protesters, I don't see how the use of Molotov cocktails or any form of violence is good.
I'm pretty sure I'll get booed by many, but I find several negative things in the story:
- Sweeney's dad puts all the blame of his son's situation on "being with a bunch of Egyptian students". Leaving aside that this looks like a comment already despising Egyptian students, Mr Sweeny seems to "obviate" that if his son is so susceptible to violence because of his "new companions" then maybe he lacks the maturity, education and strength to be left alone on the other side of the world. Maybe he should share a little of the responsability for his son's decisions, inlcuding his choice of friends. After all, the young man is 20, not 12.

- Gates tweets: Maybe I'm wrong, but I wouldn't say these are the comments of a psychologically balanced individual. He sure seemed depressed and self destructive. Maybe he was taking the opportunity to soothe his "recklessness" through violence? If so, isn't it good he was stopped before he harmed himself or others?

My fiancée is Egyptian, Coptic, and a journalist photographer, 3 reasons for which he is deep in the demonstration since they started. Living in EGypt and seeing what he has gone through all his life, I am aware of the dark ways of the Egyptian police and of its militars too.
But if these people were caught doing anything that actually may raise more violence I think it's fair they

5:23AM PST on Nov 24, 2011

ALthough I think it's "Nice" that they support the protesters, I don't see how the use of Molotov cocktails or any form of violence is good.
I'm pretty sure I'll get booed by many, but I find seevral negative things in the story:
- Sweeney's dad puts all the blame of his son's situation on "being with a bunch of Egyptian students". Leaving aside that this it looks like a comment already despising Egyptian students, Mr Sweeny seems to "obviate" if his son is so susceptible to violence because of his "new companions" then maybe he lacks the maturity, education and strength to be left alone on the other side of the world. MAybe he should share a little of the responsability for his son's decisions, inlcuding his choice of friends. After all, the young man is 20, not 12.

- Gates tweets: Maybe I'm wrong, but I wouldn't say these are the comments of a psychologically balanced individual. He sure seemed depressed and self destructive. Maybe he was taking the opportunity to soothe his "recklessness" through violence? If so, isn't it good he was stopped before he harmed himself or others?

My fiancée is EGyptian, Coptic, and journalist photographer, 3 reasons for which he is deep in the demonstration since he started. Leaving in EGypt and seeing what he has gone through all his life, I am aware of the dark ways of the EGyptian police and of its militars too.
But if these people were caught doing naything that actually may raise more violence I think it's fair they were

9:24AM PST on Nov 23, 2011

Ah well....you cant fix...stupid!

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Kristina Chew Kristina Chew teaches ancient Greek, Latin and Classics at Saint Peter's University in New Jersey.... more
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