Al Jazeera Arabic correspondent Abdullah Elshamy is released

Ahmed Kathrada supporting the #freeajstaff campaign

Al Jazeera Arabic correspondent Abdullah Elshamy has been released by the Egyptian authorities after spending ten months in detention.

Elshamy had been in detention since 14th August, 2013, as he was arrested during his coverage of the disperse of Rabia'a Aladaweya sit-in in Cairo. He had been detained without charge for more than 10 months despite wide international calls for his release.

Commenting on his release, Al Jazeera spokesperson Osama Saeed said: "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."

"We would like to thank all who supported Abdullah's cause; millions on social media, international and humanitarian organisations, media outlets which covered the case professionally and public figures across the world who expressed their support to Abdullah on several levels, proving their strong belief in freedom of journalism and its role."

However, Al Jazeera Media Network calls for the release of the Al Jazeera English journalists Peter Greste, Baher Mohammed and Mohammed Fahmy who are still behind bars. A verdict in their case is due on 23rd June.

Calls for the release of all Al Jazeera staff have been made from the White House, the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office and the European Union. Similarly public calls of support for the #FreeAJStaff campaign have been made from prominent media personalities with over 60,000 people supporting the #FreeAJStaff campaign which has had over 1.2 billion impressions on Twitter. Various media freedom and human rights groups have also issued statements ranging from the Committee to Protect Journalists, the International Press Institute, Amnesty International and The Foreign Correspondents Association of East Africa 2003 - 2021