17-year-old Egypt Intel winner detained for 15 days
An Egyptian student slated to represent his country at(Intel ISEF) - YOUM7(Archive)

CAIRO: The Asyut prosecution decided to detain 17-year old student Abdallah Assem for 15 days pending investigation, accusing him of setting a police car on fire last February, Youm7 reported.

His detention will cost him his participation in the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (Intel ISEF) to represent Egypt after he won first prize for an invention that aids the handicapped.

Abdallah was arrested three days ago in Tahrir Square on allegations of violating the protest law, but his brother Abdul Rahman denied the claims, saying, “Police asked him, ‘Why did you come from Asyut? And what are you doing in Cairo?’ Then arrested him on false accusations of burning a police officer’s car,” in statements to the CBC channel.

The Arabic Network for Human Rights Information (ANHRI) denounced the arrest and called on authorities to release Assem.

“Instead of encouraging innovators and helping them to improve their skills, the state detains its students, throws them in prison, and ruins their futures,” ANHRI stated in a press release on Sunday.

His brother also told the press that two of Assem’s friends were accused of participating in the same crime, but had been released, Youm7 reported.

Assem’s family demanded the Attorney General free their son so he can participate in the competition, adding that he has not been participating in protests despite the family’s Islamist leanings, in statements to Youm7 on Monday.

Minister of Education Mahmoud Abou el-Nasr, who was supposed to meet Assem to honor him for his award-winning scientific invention, stated to the press that he was following up with authorities regarding Assem’s case and is awaiting the investigation results.

Additional reporting by Doha Saleh and Iman Mehanna.

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