The Arabist

The Arabist

By Issandr El Amrani and friends.

3alaa to be released!!

State security prosecutor ordered today the release of detained leftist blogger 3alaa Seif al-Islam, who's been locked up in Tora Prison since 7 May. 3alaa's actual release, however, isn't expected to happen before sometime tomorrow or Thursday, because of the notorious red-tape and paper-work his lawyers have to go through.

Mabrouk ya 3alaa! Mabrouk ya Manal!!

Here's an AP report by Nadia Abou El-Magd on 3alaa's release:
Egyptian blogger ordered released six weeks after arrest in pro-democracy protests
CAIRO, Egypt (AP) _ Alaa Abdel Fattah, an Egyptian blogger who was arrested during pro-democracy protests last month and continued to blog from his cell, was ordered released Tuesday, his wife and police said.The security prosecutor, who reviews detentions every 15 days, ordered his release. But Manal Hassan, his wife, told The Associated Press he's not expected to be freed before Wednesday evening or Thursday because of paperwork.
Police officials confirmed the release order and that it might take up to two days to implement it. They spoke on condition of anonymity as they are not authorized to speak with the media.
Abdel-Fattah appeared Tuesday at the prosecutor's office for the hearing. After the release order was issued, Hassan, 23, wrote on the blog: "It was the happiest time, and I was chanting 'Down with (President) Hosni Mubarak,' as Alaa was taken back from the prosecutors' office to prison in a police van."
Abdel Fattah and Hassan's blog _ called Manalaa a combination of their first names _ has become one of the most popular pro-democracy voices in Egypt.
Abdel Fattah, 24, was arrested May 7 along with 10 other pro-democracy activists during a rally in front of a Cairo court in support of other detained activists. While in prison, he continued to post messages on the blog by sneaking out written notes.
Police arrested secular activists as well as hundreds of Muslim Brotherhood members in a crackdown launched during a wave of protests in April and May in support of two reformist judges who blew the whistle on alleged fraud during parliament elections last year.
Last month, a judiciary panel reprimanded one judge and cleared the other.
The Manalaa blog, launched two years ago and written in a mixture of English and Arabic, was awarded a 2005 best blog prize by Reporters Without Borders and German media Deutsche Welle.
A photo of Abdel Fattah, with his long, curly hair and scraggly beard, was posted on many Internet sites campaigning for his release. His hair was shaved off completely just after his arrest.