U.S. Undergrads Deny Throwing Firebombs In Cairo
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – The father of an American student arrested during protests in Egypt says his 19-year-old son has called home and said he’s being treated well under the circumstances.
Derrik Sweeney, of Jefferson City, Mo., was among three American students arrested this week in Cairo.
Kevin Sweeney says his son called about 6:30 a.m. on Wednesday from the phone of a U.S. Embassy official before additional questioning and spoke “very briefly” with his mother Joy Sweeney. The teen said he hasn’t been hurt.
An Egyptian official has said Sweeney and two other students – Luke Gates, a 21-year-old Indiana University student, and Gregory Porter, a 19-year-old Drexel University student – were arrested on the roof of a university building where they were throwing firebombs at security forces fighting with protesters near Tahrir Square.
Kevin Sweeney says his son said he was watching the demonstrations but denies throwing anything.
Morgan Roth, spokeswoman for the American University in Cairo, said the three were questioned Tuesday by an Egyptian prosecutor with a U.S. Embassy official present. State Department spokesman Mark Toner confirmed Wednesday afternoon that the U.S. had been given access to the students, though he offered no specifics from the meeting. He did say he was under the impression that no formal charges had been filed against them as of yet. He said the State Department was monitoring the situation closely.