Mon February 7, 2011
The Two-Way

Reports: Google's Wael Ghonim To Be Released By Egyptian Authorities

Update at 12:10 p.m. ET: While (as we said earlier) The Wall Street Journal is quoting, by name, a State Department spokesman as saying that Google executive Wael Thonim has been released from custody in Egypt, The New York Times' Jennifer Preston is tweeting that "I talked to State Dept. It is not confirmed that @ghonim has been released. Too many conflicting reports. Let's get it right."

Update at 11:18 a.m. ET: The Wall Street Journal now reports that "Google executive Wael Ghonim has been released from government custody in Egypt."

And it adds that " 'we have indeed received confirmation of his release,' State Department spokesman Mark Toner said."

Activist/entrepreneur/blogger Habid Haddad, who has been a source of solid information on what's happening, tweets that:

"State Department confirms to WSJ that Wael @Ghonim has been released. Family still waiting for him though (via @ltlmsnour)"

Our original post:

"More than a week after his mysterious disappearance in Egypt, Google executive and political activist Wael Ghonim will be released from government detention on Monday, according to his family and a prominent businessman," The Wall Street Journal reports.

As the Journal's All Things Digital blog adds, Ghonim "an Internet activist who has helped run social networking sites critical of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak's government, has become a rallying symbol for the demonstrators demanding the resignation of the long-time president."

The New York Times says that "Egypt's state-run Nile TV reported on Sunday that Prime Minister Ahmed Shafiq had called the network to announce that Mr. Ghonim would be released on Monday afternoon. Earlier in the day, Naguib Sawiris, a prominent Egyptian businessman who was among several others meeting with Vice President Omar Suleiman over the weekend, said that he had been assured Mr. Ghonim would be released on Monday afternoon."

It is now mid-afternoon in Cairo. We'll update if word comes in that Ghonim is free. Many folks are watching for word on Twitter as well. Copyright 2011 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.