After 10 months detention, hunger striking journalist to be released

After being held in custody for 10 months, hunger striking journalist Abdullah al-Shamy will be released from detention, his brother Mohamed tweeted on Monday evening.

The general prosecutor issued the release order for Shamy and 12 others who are facing the same charges. Their release was ordered due to health concerns, according to the prosecutor’s statement.

The charges facing the defendants still stand, however, and investigations will be ongoing, according to the prosecutor.

Shamy, who works for the Qatar-based Al Jazeera network, was arrested on August 14 during the dispersal of the Rabea al-Adaweya sit-in organized to support ousted President Mohamed Morsi. The journalist’s detention was repeatedly renewed, though his case has never been referred to trial.

Shamy’s case gained wide attention after he declared a hunger strike on January 21 to protest his detention, and his health rapidly deteriorated in recent weeks. Al Jazeera launched a global campaign for Shamy’s release, as well as the release of a team of Al Jazeera English journalists facing terrorism charges in the so-called Marriott Cell case. A verdict is expected in that case on June 23.

Following the prosecutor’s order, Al Jazeera took to its Twitter account to exhort the Egyptian authorities to release of the rest of its journalists.

Mohamed Soltan, a detainee who has also been hunger striking since January and now faces grave health risks, was not among the released, according to initial reports that cited judicial sources.

Soltan, son of Muslim Brotherhood leader Salah Soltan, is one of 51 defendants facing charges in the so-called “Rabea operations room” case, in which the Muslim Brotherhood’s Supreme Guide Mohamed Badie is also implicated.


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