Egyptian authorities release Google executive Wael Ghonim

CAIRO: Google executive Wael Ghonim, who went missing during nationwide protests in Egypt, was released on Monday, the company said.

Ghonim, who is Google's Head of Marketing in the Middle East and North Africa, went missing on January 28. It later turned out he had been detained by Egyptian security forces.

"It is a huge relief that Wael Ghonim has been released. We send our best wishes to him and his family," a Google spokesperson said on Monday, without providing further details.

In an interview aired on Dream TV after his release, Ghonim said he was kidnapped late at night while trying to get a taxi. He said four men surrounded him and that he yelled for help but realized they were security forces.

"Freedom is a bless[ing] that deserves fighting for it," Ghonim later wrote on his Twitter account. "When you don't see anything but a black scene for 12 days you keep praying that those outside still remember you. Thanks everyone."

Ghonim, in the television interview, said he was the administrator behind an influential Facebook page which helped organize massive nationwide protests in Egypt. It was dedicated to Khaled Mohamed Saeed, who witnesses say was beaten to death by police in Alexandria in 2010.


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