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Los Angeles man detained by Egyptian security forces

A Los Angeles man working in Cairo has been taken away by Egyptian security forces for unknown reasons.
January 24, 2014 12:00:00 AM PST
A Los Angeles man working in Cairo has been taken away by Egyptian security forces for unknown reasons.

Jeremy Hodge's mother, Lisa de Moraes, says her son's friends in Cairo and Washington are assuring her that her son will be released unharmed, but no one knows where he is or why he was taken into custody.

"He's been detained since Wednesday night and the Embassy has not been allowed a one-on-one visit. I would say that's the most distressing thing," said De Moraes.

Adding to her worries about her son's sudden detention in Cairo is the 25-year-old's lack of medication for his severe asthma.

"This is an eventuality that I always knew was a possibility, given the volatile political situation," said De Moraes.

Facebook and other social media have been De Moraes' link to the other side of the world as she waits for word on her son. Hodge has lived in the war torn country since October 2012, working as an Arabic translator. An unusual Facebook post tipped De Moraes off that something wasn't right.

According to De Moraes, the post said, "Does anybody know Jeremy's passport number? The Embassy needs to know."

She said that on Wednesday night, police went to Hodge's apartment to look for a roommate who is an Egyptian filmmaker, who wasn't home at the time.

"His English roommate does not speak Arabic, so Jeremy was translating and they just were very fixated on the fact that Jeremy spoke such good Arabic. This was disconcerting to them," said De Moraes.

The U.S. Embassy says it's aware a U.S. citizen has been detained in Egypt but cannot comment.

Friends in Cairo have hired an attorney, but so far no one has spoken to or seen Hodge.

"As an American citizen, he's pretty much protected. However, what the question is, is how long are they going to keep him there?" said De Moraes.

She said Embassy officials in Cairo told her they are scheduled to see Hodge on Sunday.


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