Egyptian engineer Mahmoud El-Safty freed in Syria

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CAIRO: Syrian authorities released on Friday Egyptian engineer Mahmoud El-Safty one week after his arrest in Homs city while visiting his Syrian wife and daughter.

"My father was released two days ago and he will be back to Kuwait where he works soon," Mahmoud’s son, Abdullah, told Daily News Egypt.

El-Safty is a diabetic and suffers a heart condition, which raised concerns that his health would deteriorate if he did not take his medication.

"His medical condition is fine compared to what he was supposed to look like after not taking his medication for almost a week," Abdullah added.

El-Safty, 54, who works as an engineer in Kuwait, was shooting video of a protest in Homs when Syrian authorities confiscated his camera, asking him to come back the following day to retrieve it. He went twice to take the camera and was arrested on his third time.

"I have never seen a spy who comes back twice to get his camera that he supposedly used for espionage," said Ahmed El-Safty, the engineer’s brother.

Abdullah said that his family protested in front of the Arab League last Friday in an attempt to pressure the Syrian government to release El-Safty.

"We were also planning for another march from the Syrian Embassy in Dokki to Tahrir Square on Sunday; we were trying to do so to help other diplomatic efforts exerted by the Egyptian Ministry of Foreign Affairs," Abdullah added.

Spokesman of Ministry of Foreign Affairs urged Egyptians living in Syria in a televised speech aired on Egyptian state TV to steer clear of places where protests are taking place.

"I urge all Egyptian citizens to stay away from troubled areas in Syria, not to use their mobile phones to film protests and to respect the Syrian code of law after the detention of four Egyptians recently in Syria," he said.

El-Safy is the third reported Egyptian to be detained in the wake of anti-government protests in Syria. Khaled El-Ghayesh, based in Lebanon, and Egyptian-American engineer Mohamed Radwan, who was working in Syria, were both arrested last month.

Both were released by Syrian authorities after intensive diplomatic efforts by the Egyptian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.


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