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American Students Arrested In Egypt Released, Home With Families

The three American students arrested during a protest in Cairo last week have been released and are back home with their families in the United States.

Georgetown University student Derrik Sweeney, 19, along with Luke Gates, 21, and Gregory Porter, 19, caught flights out of Egypt early Saturday, reports the Associated Press.

In an interview with AP, Sweeney describes his first hours in custody as "probably the scariest night of my life ever." He says he, Gates, and Porter were hit, forced to lie for hours in the dark in near fetal position, and threatened with guns.

Egyptian authorities arrested the three, who were studying at the American University in Cairo, on the roof of a university building near Tahrir Square last Sunday. According to AP, officials accused them of throwing firebombs at security forces fighting with protesters.

After their first night in custody, Sweeney says conditions improved. They were transferred to another location, given food when they needed it, and were allowed contact with a U.S. Embassy official.

An Egyptian court ordered their release on Thursday, and they were all on flights out of Cairo a couple of days later. Porter and Gates also arrived back in their home states late Saturday.


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