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EGYPT: Google executive released, Al Jazeera reports [Updated]

February 7, 2011 |  8:49 am

Wael Ghonim Al Jazeera English reports that a detained Google Inc. executive has been released.

A brother of Wael Ghonim, Google's head of marketing for the Middle East and North Africa, told the network he was freed Monday and was on his way to Tahrir Square, the center of anti-government protests in Cairo.

[Updated at 10:56 a.m.: Times correspondent Ned Parker reports from Cairo that 
Hazim Ghonim told reporters at Tahrir Square that his brother is "fine" and "safe" at an undisclosed location. In his first tweet after he was released, Wael Ghonim said: "Freedom is a bless that deserves fighting for it."]

Ghonim had traveled to Egypt from his home in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, and was believed to have been arrested Jan. 27 after joining in the protests, according to Amnesty International. 

Before his arrest, Ghonim announced on his Twitter feed that he had been "brutally beaten up by police people." Not long before he disappeared, he wrote: "Very worried as it seems that government is planning a war crime tomorrow against people. We are all ready to die."

Ghonim's disappearance prompted widespread international outrage. The release of prisoners has been a key demand of opposition representatives who met over the weekend with newly appointed Vice President Omar Suleiman.

Read more on Wael Ghonim's release on our Technology blog.

— Alexandra Zavis

Photo: Wael Ghoneim is shown in an undated photo provided by Google Inc. Credit: AP Photo/Google Inc.


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