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Egypt to release detained Al Jazeera journalist

[JURIST] Egypt's prosecutor general said Monday that Al Jazeera journalist Abdullah Elshamy will be released on medical grounds [Al Jazeera report] after nearly a year of imprisonment. Elshamy was detained last August while covering a protest in support of deposed president Mohamed Morsi [JURIST report] and has been on a hunger strike for the past five months in protest of his detention without charge. Al Jazeera journalists Mohamed Fahmy, Peter Greste and Baher Mohamed remain in prison [JURIST report] on charges of false reporting. A verdict is expected on Monday.

Political conflict in Egypt has been ongoing since the 2011 revolution [JURIST backgrounder], most recently between Morsi supporters and supporters of the new government in place since Morsi's ouster [JURIST report]. In April Amnesty International (AI) [advocacy website] urged Egypt [JURIST report] to release the Al Jazeera journalists, calling the continued detention "vindictive." In February an Egyptian court acquitted [JURIST report] an Al Jazeera television cameraman and 61 others accused of participating in demonstrations in Cairo last July. In January Egyptian prosecutors charged [JURIST report] 20 Al Jazeera journalists, including Greste, Fahmy and Mohamed, with joining or conspiring with a terrorist group and broadcasting false images.

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