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Egyptian journalist Abdullah Elshamy, center, appears in a defendants’ cage in May

Journalist released after 306 days.

Al-Jazeera Arabic reporter, Abdullah Elshamy, was jailed for 306 days without trial in Egypt since last August and was released on health grounds. He was accused of several violence-related crimes. He was arrested while covering the violent dispersal of a protest camp in Cairo.

Elshamy spent nearly half his jail-time on hunger-strike in protest at his politicised case. Elshamy’s plight sparked global outcry, as his case came to symbolise the extent of a crackdown on dissent that has now seen 16 journalists jailed among at least 16,000 political detainees.

After doctors warned Elshamy was at risk of death, authorities sent him to solitary confinement and refused to admit the severity of his condition – he and 10 others from his case were ordered released for health reasons.

“This is a huge victory for Abdullah,” said Mosa’ab, Elshamy’s younger brother. “The fact he gets released on a health basis means his hunger strike, which he took till the very end, has got what he achieved. It’s a big victory for him, and this is the prosecutors recognising his hunger strike and his struggle.”

But the supporters of Elshamy say that it is a clearly politicised and has never been brought to trial. Also his younger brother Mosa’ab said, “It doesn’t end the case- technically if they refer the case to trial, he will have to go to court.”

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