On Tuesday, Egypt's High State Security Prosecution released Malak al-Kashef, a transgender woman and activist who was held in a men's prison. 

Last March, the activist was taken into police custody along with 70 other people for taking part in riots that followed a deadly train crash in Cairo. 

At the time of the 20-year-old's arrest, the fact that she was sent to a male prison despite having undergone gender reassignment surgery sparked intense backlash online. Al-Kashef's release is temporary pending investigation into the charges held against her which include "aiding an illegal group and publishing news on Facebook that is punishable by the law."

She's also being charged for "aiding a terrorist group, receiving finances for committing a terrorist act, conspiracy to commit a terrorist crime, illegal assembly and using special accounts on the internet with the aim of disrupting the public structure."

The young woman's defense lawyer asked a judge to release Al-Kashef so she can undergo forensic testing to prove she's undergone a sex change procedure. This is the only way through which she can then file a request to be transferred to a female jail facility - if she were to be jailed again.

Al-Kashef fully transitioned two years ago and changed her name from Malek to Malak. However, because she was still legally registered as a male when authorities arrested her, she was placed in a men's prison. To prevent her from getting harassed by inmates, Al-Kashef was held in solitary confinement for the four months she was in jail. 

The woman isn't the only trans individual who was arrested as part of the 2018 crackdown. Hossam Ahmed, a trans man, was also detained as part of the post-train crash arrest campaign and placed in a women's jail. 

The activist uploaded an emotional Facebook post following her release

In the post, Al-Kashef said she was hesitant to go on Facebook and update people on how she was doing due to her being in a "difficult mental state." She thanked her lawyers, friends, and everyone who supported her throughout her legal ordeal and made sure to send a powerful message to her followers. 

"Our existence as trans women is important for our rights and we're always going to defend them despite the injustice, racism and pain. This is not an act of heroism! No, this is a right and rights are won. We're never going to stop fighting for our spaces, rights, freedoms and an admission from our country, that we exist. This will happen, it's just going to take some time, but it will happen and history will be our witness," she wrote. 

"I am waiting for a not guilty verdict because no human rights activist can condone violence and terrorism and my past is proof of that. Thank you for supporting me and sorry for not responding because I am going through the worst time of my life," she added. 

Egypt has long been cracking down on its LGBTIQ+ community

In the past few years, Egypt has been cracking down on freedoms and activists in general. Long before that, officials would particularly target members of the LGBTIQ+ community in their arrest campaigns and it hasn't stopped. 

Earlier this year, people attending a concert of international rock band Red Hot Chili Peppers in Egypt were asked if they were carrying LGBTIQ+ rainbow flags before being allowed into the event's venue.

This crackdown on LGBTIQ+ flags came just two years after a number of individuals were arrested for raising a rainbow flag during a Mashrou' Leila concert in Cairo. At the time, they were detained under charges of "promoting sexual deviancy" and "inciting immorality."

Days after the incident, the country's Musicians Syndicate also said it will ban the band - whose lead singer Hamed Sinno is openly gay - from performing in the country again.

The Mashrou' Leila concert situation escalated into what human rights organizations described as a full-fledged LGBTIQ+ crackdown. According to Amnesty, some arrestees were subjected to forced anal examinations to determine whether they've had gay sex.

Other than targeting concertgoers and banning rainbow flags in public events, the country also regularly arrests and jails people suspected of being gay. 

While homosexuality is not illegal in Egypt, police often detain individuals using decades-old prostitution and debauchery laws.