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Egypt frees activist jailed for nearly two years without trial

CAIRO — Egyptian activist and journalist Esraa Abdel-Fattah, one of the symbols of the 2011 revolution, has been freed after nearly 22 months in pre-trial detention, lawyer Khaled Ali says today.

Ali, as well as friends of Abdel-Fattah, has posted photographs online of her being released from prison.

In 2008, Abdel-Fattah created an “April 6” Facebook page in support of striking workers and to call for political reforms, at the start of the mobilization of mass protests that would lead to the toppling of president Hosni Mubarak three years later.

Abdel-Fattah, 43, was arrested in October 2019 on charges of “spreading false news” and “collaborating with a terrorist group.”

Her detention sparked international condemnation, with the US calling it “scandalous.”

Abdel-Fattah, who was also previously jailed under Mubarak, walked free just hours after a surprise decision by the prosecution to release her.

She had opposed the Muslim Brotherhood when they took power in Egypt in 2012 and backed the 2013 protests that led to the ouster of Islamist president Mohamed Morsi.

Under Egyptian law, pre-trial detention can be extended for up to two years.

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