Egyptian court orders release of Georgetown student, 2 others

Derrik Sweeney, right, a 19-year-old Georgetown University student. (Photo: Egypt's Ministry of Interior)

(AP, WJLA) - Egyptian officials say a court has ordered the release of three American students arrested this week during the unrest in Cairo.

An Egyptian official said Thursday the three who attend the American University in Cairo were arrested on the roof of a university building near Cairo's iconic Tahrir Square. They were accused of throwing firebombs at security forces fighting with protesters.

The three, arrested Sunday, are Derrik Sweeney, a 19-year-old Georgetown University student, Luke Gates, a 21-year-old Indiana University student, and Gregory Porter, a 19-year-old Drexel University student.

"It was confirmed, officially," Joy Sweeney, Derrik's mother, said. "The attorney general is not going to appeal."

In a series of tweets, Derrik's sister, Nicole, says that her brother and the other two students finally were fed and were allowed accept visitors from the American University in Cairo.

"Our entire Georgetown community is deeply grateful to all those whose prompt attention and work led to their release," Georgetown President John J. DeGioia said in a statement.

On Thursday morning, Joy Sweeney, Derrik's mother, told the Associated Press that the counsel general confirmed early Thursday morning that her son would be released.

In a statement, State Department spokesman Mark Toner said that they appreciated the "expeditious consideration of this case by the Egyptian authorities."

The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to the media.