November 24th, 2011
07:59 AM ET

3 U.S. students expect to be freed in Egypt

[Updated at 4 p.m. ET] Three American college students arrested on suspicion of throwing Molotov cocktails during a protest in Cairo were ordered released Thursday, but it was not immediately clear when that would happen. Late in the day, they remained in custody.

"We handed the release order to the police and it's in their hands now," said Adel Saeed, the official spokesman of the general prosecutor.

The prosecutor's office told CNN earlier Thursday that the students had already been released. But late in the day, a friend of the students said they could remain in custody for a few more days.

Drew Harper, a 22-year-old film student from New York who has been in Cairo for three months, said the students said they were in good spirits and cited a bureaucratic slowdown for their continuing detention.

The erroneous news that they had already been freed was embraced by Joy Sweeney, whose son Derrik is one of the three students. "We are just so blessed and so grateful right now," she told CNN. "I can't wait to give him a big hug."

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Filed under: Egypt
soundoff (71 Responses)
  1. Sean

    Hey, Egypt... you have to keep them! They're yours! Oh mine.... now we'll have to deal with three spoilt kids!

    November 24, 2011 at 8:04 am | Report abuse |
    • zooni

      Maybe they can go out for drinks with the three hikers or start a club dumb places Americans go when school is out.

      November 24, 2011 at 8:37 am | Report abuse |
    • Meh

      Let's give them back to Egypt.

      November 24, 2011 at 8:38 am | Report abuse |
    • noroe

      Sean, They Can Stay in Egypt.TROUBLE MAKERS.................

      November 24, 2011 at 8:51 am | Report abuse |
  2. Sam

    Only a total selfish and moronic human being would write a dumb comment like Sean!!!!

    November 24, 2011 at 8:16 am | Report abuse |
    • me

      Sean is right. Keep them and don't spend a penny of my tax money on them. Hey fools, when you aren't ion home soil, you are on your own!

      November 24, 2011 at 8:38 am | Report abuse |
    • Meh

      I am on Sean's side with this one. Let's return them to Egypt for a while.

      November 24, 2011 at 8:41 am | Report abuse |
    • noroe

      No sam u Wrong........

      November 24, 2011 at 8:52 am | Report abuse |
    • Terry

      Sam, seems like you are the minority here on this !!

      November 24, 2011 at 9:30 am | Report abuse |
  3. Bubba North

    Egypt should keep them, don't let them back in he country !!!

    November 24, 2011 at 8:23 am | Report abuse |
  4. ROCKWOOD

    Thank you Egypt!!!!! I sincerely hope that other Americans learn a lesson from this. When you go visiting other countries, don't get involved in their political affairs. Happy Thanksgiving everyone!!!!!

    November 24, 2011 at 8:24 am | Report abuse |
  5. jim

    I assume this means the students did nothing wrong. It's fortunate they were in Egypt , when you're caught doing nothing wrong in Iran they hold you for a half million dollar ransom.

    November 24, 2011 at 8:24 am | Report abuse |
  6. meghan

    those US passports come in VERY handy!!!

    November 24, 2011 at 8:26 am | Report abuse |
  7. Tyrone

    I admire those kids

    November 24, 2011 at 8:29 am | Report abuse |
    • Obeythelaw

      Why?

      November 25, 2011 at 3:13 pm | Report abuse |
  8. neverwas

    automatic -20 on your ACT for this one boys.

    November 24, 2011 at 8:30 am | Report abuse |
  9. neverwas

    these guys should be serving fries or restocking video store shelves not attending college.

    November 24, 2011 at 8:31 am | Report abuse |
  10. Paul

    Whatever happened to being responsible for your own actions? If you decide to go around the world and join protests, you must be willing to assume the risk that is associated with such actions. Yes, you will face harsh actions, without the rights that you have in this country. It is not our country's responsibility to save you from your own free choice!

    November 24, 2011 at 8:32 am | Report abuse |
    • Blue Mountian

      Much agreed Paul. I think your comment says it all. well said. 🙂

      November 24, 2011 at 10:37 am | Report abuse |
  11. Henry J. Inman

    Idiots! They need to at least be caned!

    November 24, 2011 at 8:33 am | Report abuse |
  12. Really

    What idiots decide to study abroad in a country where civil unrest is everywhere.

    November 24, 2011 at 8:34 am | Report abuse |
  13. JP

    They don't look like the brightest bulbs in the box in that picture. Wonder if they learned anything from this experience? I doubt it. What the hell were they doing in that crowd anyway? Idiots!

    November 24, 2011 at 8:36 am | Report abuse |
  14. bezerkur

    who cares. GO LIONS!

    November 24, 2011 at 8:37 am | Report abuse |
  15. Logan

    Didn't we learn from the whole Iran affair not to send our moronic, naive children overseas? Especially these morons, their parents should be in jail fro letting this little brats go to school in a country they obviously have no respect for.

    November 24, 2011 at 8:39 am | Report abuse |
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