At 11:30 GMT, Sami Ben Gharbia broke the news that Fouad Mourtada had been freed. Mourtada, who was sentenced on February 22 to three years in prison, was released after serving only 25 days of that sentence (he was, however, imprisoned for 43 days total). So far, no major news sources have reported on the story, but several bloggers have reacted.
Omar El Hyani of Blog Open Source [fr] reports:
Fouad Mourtada, le premier prisonnier de Facebook, a été libéré par grâce royale à l’occasion du Aid Mawlid Nabaoui.
Enfin une happy end à cette histoire.
Finally a happy end to this story.
Zainabi.com [fr], the first blog spotted posting the news, stated:
La raison l’a emporté. Fouad Mourtada, le jeune ingénieur qui avait écopé de trois ans de prison pour avoir usurpé l’identité du prince My Rachid sur Facebook, a été enfin libéré. C’est pour moi une grande bonne nouvelle.
DigiActive is quick to celebrate, posting a graphic and saying:
This is a huge victory for digital activism. Thank you to all the people who supported the campaign, both online and offline!
Curt of The Committee to Protect Bloggers is on top of things, reacting quickly to Global Voices Advocacy's post:
Global Voices asserts that Fouad Mourtada has been released from prison with a “full royal pardon.” If this is true, it’s fantastic news for Fouad. Not great news for free speech or Morocco, though, that it took a royal pardon. Can anyone confirm this?
At the time of this posting, no major news sources had reported on Mourtada's release.