Petition launched to help free Briton arrested in Egypt 'for patting security guard on the back'

London businessman Tony Camoccio, 51, claim he is being falsely accused of sexual assault after patting a security guard on the back at Hurghada Airport (Picture: PA/Change.org)

Thousands of people have signed a petition for a British businessman who has allegedly been arrested in Egypt after patting a male airport security guard on the back.

Friends of Tony Camoccio claim the father-of-four is being falsely accused of sexual assault after the alleged incident at Hurghada International Airport on February 8.

The 51-year-old was returning from a holiday with his wife and a group of friends when the incident reportedly happened at an airport checkpoint.

Mr Camoccio, who has visited Egypt several times before, is believed to currently be in police custody in Hurghada.

An online petition has been set up on change.org calling for Mr Camoccio to be released and by Friday had reached nearly 4,000 signatures.

A petition to free Tony Camoccio has gained nearly 4,000 signatures (Picture: Change.org)

A statement on the petition website reads: “At customs in Hurghada airport on his outbound journey, he was at final checkpoint where he was, as a standard procedure for all outbound passengers, patted down by a security officer.

“Tony then gently patted the officer’s back, and is now facing serious accusations.

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“He was held in a general population cell overnight where he remained in handcuffs, petrified for his life as he did not know what he was supposedly being charged with or what he had done wrong.

“His basic human rights were being abused and these are false accusations.”

Radha Stirling, chief executive of human rights organisation Detained In Dubai, said authorities had extended Mr Camoccio’s detention for another two weeks to investigate the allegations.

“We are appalled by the arrest and detention of Mr Camoccio, and fear for his safety,” she added.

The Foreign Office has said it is in contact with the family and the authorities in Egypt.

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