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Egypt Frees US Prisoner It Accused of Subversion

  • VOA News

FILE - Mohamed Soltan, in a wheelchair, makes a court appearance in Cairo, Egypt, March 9, 2015.

FILE - Mohamed Soltan, in a wheelchair, makes a court appearance in Cairo, Egypt, March 9, 2015.

Egypt on Saturday deported an Egyptian-American who had been jailed for nearly two years for his alleged involvement in the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood.

Cairo authorities forced Mohamed Soltan, 27, to relinquish his Egyptian citizenship before allowing him to leave Egypt for the United States. He had been on a hunger strike for more than 16 months to protest his extended detention, and his family said his health had been deteriorating rapidly.

Soltan, an Ohio State University graduate in the U.S. who had campaigned for President Barack Obama's election, was convicted of financing an anti-government sit-in in Egypt and spreading "false news" during the 2013 military overthrow of elected Islamist President Mohammed Morsi. He was given a life prison sentence. His father, Salah, a prominent member of the Muslim Brotherhood, has been sentenced to death.

Mohamed Soltan had been working as an assistant and translator for U.S. and international news organizations during the protests. He was one of thousands imprisoned during the military takeover that eventually led to the election of the country's defense chief, Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi, as president.

Newly freed, Soltan boarded a flight to Frankfurt en route to the United States.

The U.S. State Department welcomed his release, saying it was glad he would be reunited with his family in the United States. Soltan's family thanked those who had sought his release and said he would receive medical treatment as soon as he arrived in the U.S.

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