An Al Jazeera reporter who was captured in Egypt and has been on a hunger strike for more than 100 days has finally been set free, according to the Associated Press:
BREAKING: Al-Jazeera reporter on over 100-day hunger strike to protest his detention in Egypt goes free.— The Associated Press (@AP) June 17, 2014
Egypt's prosecutor general said yesterday he had ordered the release of Abdullah Elshamy due to the journalist's "health conditions."
Elshamy's lawyer confirmed that the release was in order, saying on Monday that "our request to release Abdullah was accepted by the prosecutor general... he will be out of Torah prison once we finish the release procedures [on Tuesday] morning." The 26-year-old reporter was met by his mother, wife and brothers outside of a police station in Cairo today.
Elshamy was arrested without charge by Egyptian police ten months ago. He was taken for his affiliation with Al Jazeera, which had been accused by Egypt's new military leaders of supporting ousted president Mohamed Morsi.
The detainee's strike prompted an outpouring of support on social media, especially from his Al Jazeera colleagues. The network issued a statement on his release today, saying:
Al Jazeera would like to thank all who supported Elshamy's cause - millions of people on social media, international and humanitarian organizations, media organizations which covered the case, and public figures who expressed their support for Elshamy and strong belief in freedom of journalism and its role.
Al Jazeera added, however, that three of its journalists remain held in Egypt, and are scheduled to hear their verdicts next week.