PHILADELPHIA – A court in Egypt has ordered the release of three American students arrested during a protest in Cairo, a lawyer in Philadelphia confirmed Thursday.
Derrik Sweeney, Luke Gates and Gregory Porter, who attend the American University in Cairo, were arrested on the roof of a university building near Cairo’s iconic Tahrir Square on Sunday. Officials accused them of throwing firebombs at security forces fighting with protesters.
Attorney Theodore Simon, who represents Porter, a 19-year-old student at Drexel University in Philadelphia, said his client remained in custody at a police station as of Thursday afternoon.
But Simon said he was able to speak by phone with Porter, describing the student’s demeanor as “calm and measured, demonstrating a maturity well beyond his 19 years.”
“He was extremely thankful and appreciative for our efforts and the unconditional support of his mother and father,” Simon said.
The State Department released a statement saying it was trying to independently confirm the reports of the students’ release.
Earlier Thursday, Egypt officials said the Abdeen Court in Cairo had ordered their release. They did not say when the students would be released.