Egypt to Release Google Executive on Demonstrations in Egypt

 
Egypt to Release Google Executive on Demonstrations in Egypt

CAIRO—Google Inc.'s top executive for the Middle East, missing for 10 days after participating in Egypt's largest demonstrations in decades, will be released from government custody Monday, according to family members.
Wael Ghonim, an Internet activist who has helped run social networking sites critical of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak's government, has become a rallying symbol for the demonstrators demanding the resignation of the long-time president.
Mr. Ghonim was feared to be among the some 1,200 activists and demonstrators detained since the start of the protests on Jan. 25, according to human rights workers and political activists. However, since he disappeared on Jan. 28 there has been no information about his whereabouts.
"Wael is going to be released tomorrow at 4 p.m., several people from the authorities ... called us to tell us," Hazem Ghonim, Wael's brother, said in a telephone interview from Cairo.
Officials from Egypt's Interior Ministry and vice president's office weren't immediately available for comment.
Mr. Ghonim's brother said that members of the group who met with Mr. Mubarak's vice president, Omar Suleiman, on Sunday brokered his release.
For the past year, Mr. Ghonim has been a volunteer for Mohammed ElBaradei's political campaign seeking political change and more democracy in Egypt.
Political activists affiliated with the protest movement have been targeted in sweeping arrests conducted by Egypt's fearsome state security since the protest movement began. It is unclear why the government has apparently decided to release Mr. Ghonim now.
The political negotiations Sunday with Mr. Suleiman included members of the organizing committee responsible for the protest movement that has rocked Mr. Mubarak's government.
 
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