Egyptian court orders students released

JC mother awaiting her son's return

The three American students arrested in Cairo have been ordered to be released, bringing happy Thanksgiving news to one Jefferson City family.

Joy Sweeney said she got confirmation at 6 a.m. Thursday the three students would be released, including her 19-year-old son, Derrik.

According to the Associated Press, Derrik Sweeney, a Georgetown University student, was arrested during protests Sunday near Cairo’s Tahrir Square. Also arrested were Luke Gates, a 21-year-old Indiana University student from Bloomington, Ind., and Gregory Porter, a 19-year-old Drexel University student from Glenside, Pa. An Interior Ministry official had said the students were being detained after allegedly throwing petrol bombs at police protecting the Interior Ministry building in Cairo.

Earlier Thursday, Egypt officials said the Abdeen Court in Cairo had ordered their release. They did not say when the students would be released.

Joy Sweeney said as of 12:30 p.m. Thursday, she had not heard from her son or anyone else since receiving the news of his impending release.

“We don’t even know if they’ve been officially released, with all the paperwork, from the police,” she said. “So we’re trying to figure that out.”

Joy Sweeney said she and her family were “very elated” at the news of the students’ release.

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