Brit teen released after three weeks of Egypt jail ‘hell’ over holiday photo
9th December 2018

A British teen held in an Egyptian jail for three weeks over a holiday photo has finally been freed.

Muhammed Fathi Abulkasem was accused of collecting covert intelligence after taking a snap from his plane window which allegedly captured a military helicopter in the background.

The 19-year-old was arrested the moment he stepped off the plane in Alexandria airport on November 21, where he was travelling to visit friends.

Muhammed was allegedly locked up in a cold, squalid cell and has barely been able to speak to his family for three weeks.

He was allegedly served rotten food and inmates were trying to treat him badly while in jail.

But the A-level student from Cheetham Hill, Manchester was eventually set free and returned to his family in Libya, reports the Middle East Eye.

Speaking on a YouTube video after his release, he said: "I was ready to give up mentally and physically."

He described his detention in an "Egyptian hellhole" and spoke of how he heard in the final days of his detention of the support he was receiving back home.

While he was detained, his family were "going out of their mind", according to a family friend – his sister was "coughing up blood" while his mum called on Foreign Minister Jeremy Hunt to intervene.

Egyptian security stopped Muhammed and the Libyan friend he was travelling with, after the hotel where he had booked his reservation reported his file as suspicious.

Officials searched through his belongings and said a photo of the military helicopter in the background was proof that the teenager was spying.

Originally from the UK, Muhammed has Libyan and Pakistani heritage – and his family have been living in Libya in order to spend time with his ill grandmother, report Middle East Eye .

They had planned to return to the UK in the near future, having previously lived in Egypt for four years – and Abulkasem wanted to visit his old friends in the country before he started university next year.

An Foreign Office spokesperson told Mirror Online: “The Foreign Office provided consular assistance to a British national following his arrest in Egypt.

"He has since been released.”

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