U.S. Students Arrested in Egypt Questioned

Nov 23, 2011, 08:17 by R.E. Christian

Egyptian officials indicated Wednesday they would re-question three U.S. college students accused of tossing Molotov cocktails during protests at Tahrir Square.

The second interrogation of Derrik Sweeney, Gregory Porter and Luke Gates will occur in the presence of U.S. Embassy legal representatives, CNN reported.

The three, spending the semester at American University in Cairo as part of a study-abroad program, were arrested Monday.

"The three boys were throwing Molotov cocktails and had no passports on them when they were picked up," said Adel Saeed, a spokesman for Egypt's general prosecutor.

Egyptian authorities Monday conducted an interrogation session with Sweeney, 19, who attends Georgetown University; Porter, 19, a student at Drexel University in Philadelphia; and Gates, 21, who goes to the Indiana University. A second session Tuesday did not occur because of protests.

Officials at Georgetown and Drexel said they were working with American University and U.S. authorities to obtain the student's release.

CNN said a video broadcast on Egyptian state television showed the three students standing along a wall in front of what looked like liquid-filled bottles. Postings on other social media Web sites seemed to indicate Gates and Sweeney were in the protests, but CNN said it couldn't verify the posts.

U.S. State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland did not comment on the men's whereabouts, but said officials think they know where the three are and that they are safe.

"I don't think we have any information to indicate otherwise," she said during the briefing.

News of the students' detention broke on the fourth consecutive day of clashes between protesters and police. Demonstrators are calling for the removal of the Supreme Council of Armed Forces, the ruling body that took power after Hosni Mubarak was ousted as president.

Source: UPI