Cape Town – Egypt’s prosecutor general has ordered the release of Al Jazeera's Arabic journalist Abdullah Elshamy, ending almost a year of imprisonment without charge, the media network said on Tuesday.
Al Jazeera said in a statement that the prosecutor's office on Monday indicated Elshamy, who has been on hunger strike since January, would be freed on medical grounds.
Al Jazeera spokesperson Osama Saeed said his release would be a relief.
"This is a relief rather than a cause for celebration. Abdullah has been through a terrible ordeal for over ten months. He'll want to spend time with his family and recuperate. When he's ready, we look forward to seeing him back in action, doing the vital job of journalism that he so clearly loves,” Al-Jazeera quoted Saeed as saying.
Elshamy, born in Egypt but raised in Nigeria, has been on hunger strike for 147 days in protest of his prolonged imprisonment without charge.
Elshamy was arrested on 14 August 2013 while covering the violent dispersal of a sit-in by supporters of Islamist president Mohammed Morsi, who was overthrown by the army in July.
Al Jazeera English journalists Peter Greste, Baher Mohammed and Mohammed Fahmy are still behind bars. A verdict in their case is due on 23 June 2014.