BALTIMORE (WJZ)– Egyptian prosecutors drop charges against three American students arrested in Cairo’s deadly clashes.

Jessica Kartalija reports.

Nearly 40 people have died in the violent fights between police and protesters calling for leaders to step down. Caught up in the chaos– a Georgetown University student thrown in jail with two other Americans.

Thursday night, the students’ lawyers say they’ve been unexpectedly set free– welcome news to their families this Thanksgiving night.

Waves of relief for the families of three college students, arrested on a roof near Tahrir Square and imprisoned since Sunday.

Derrik Sweeney– a student at Georgetown University– and two others were accused of throwing firebombs at police. Now all charges are dropped, and Sweeney is free.

WJZ spoke with his mother on the phone.

“It’s happening and they’re coming home,” Joy Sweeney said. “I can’t believe it! I’m so happy!”

His father Kevin Sweeney says the young men have been forced to sleep on the floor without furniture.

“We wouldn’t do that to ax murderers in our country,” he said. “I think it’s appalling they would make kids sleep on the floor.”

The Sweeneys just want their son home.

“It’s not going to be real until he’s physically on an airplane and outside of Egyptian territory,” Kevin Sweeney said.

Derrik Sweeney and the other students are being examined by a doctor, and then police will release them back to their university dorms.

Joy Sweeney tells WJZ if the boys have their passports, she believes they could get onto a plane as early as Friday.


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