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Journalist Elshamy released after more than 300 days without charge

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Hunger striking Al-Jazeera correspondent Abdallah Elshamy and 12 others will continue facing investigation

Jazeera Arabic news correspondent Abdullah Elshamy. (AFP Photos)

Jazeera Arabic news correspondent Abdullah Elshamy.
(AFP Photos)

The release of Al-Jazeera journalist Abdallah Elshamy was ordered on Monday afternoon, 306 days after he was arrested during the violent dispersal of Rabaa Al-Adaweya.

Elshamy was released with 12 other defendants, according to state-owned Al-Ahram, for health reasons. They will all still face ongoing investigation.

Elshamy has been on hunger strike for more than 100 days, and medical tests by an independent doctor in mid-May revealed that he is suffering from “acute anaemia, the onset of kidney dysfunction, low blood pressure and hypoglycaemia, and his weight had dropped from 108 to 68 kilograms”, according to his lawyer.

On Tuesday hunger-striking political detainee Mohamed Soltan was transferred from prison to the intensive care unit at Qasr El-Ainy Hospital, according to Soltan’s  sister Hanaa Soltan. Both the hospital and the Ministry of Interior denied Soltan had been moved to the hospital.

Soltan, an Egyptian-America who graduated from Ohio State University, served as press liaison for the Muslim Brotherhood at the mass sit-in at Rabaa Al-Adaweya last summer, and was shot in the arm during its forcible dispersal.

In addition to Elshamy, three journalists working for Al Jazeera’s English network have been detained since being arrested on 29 December. Cairo bureau chief Mohamed Fadel Fahmy, correspondent Peter Greste, and producer Baher Mohamed are currently standing trial for spreading false news, and are accused of “creating a terrorist media network”. The verdict for their case is scheduled for 23 June.

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