Egypt: Wael Ghonim Released?

This post is part of our special coverage of Egypt Protests 2011.

Update: We have heard several contradicting accounts of this story on the ground and await further evidence that Ghonim has actually been released.

Meanwhile, The Wall Street Journal spoke to a US State Department source today who says they have received confirmation that Ghonim was released.

Egyptian cyber activist and Google executive Wael Ghonim has been released today, as Egyptians continue to demand the end of Mubarak regime.

Widespread protests are continuing for the 14th day across Egypt calling on Hosni Mubarak to step down as president. Ghonim, who vanished on January 28, has been named by the protesters at Tahrir Square, as their spokesman, to press the government to release him. The protests have started with a call on Facebook, on a group, reportedly administered by Ghonim, and other social media, starting a country-wide call for change.

Egyptian state television yesterday announced that Ghonim would be released at 4pm Cairo time, but supporters had to wait for more than an hour until his release was finally confirmed.

Although news agencies, tweeps and contacts confirm Ghonim has been released, netizens around the world want to see more tangible evidence.

@bencnn: Wael @Ghonim has been released. #Tahrir #Egypt #Jan25

@AJELive: Wael Ghonim, a Google executive and political activist, arrested on 25 January by Egyptian authorities has been released. #Egypt

@Dima_Khatib: CONFIRMED by several sources now: activist Wael Ghonim is indeed FREE #jan25 #egypt

@Hisham_G: uh-oh! RT @HalaGorani: RT @IvanCNN on the phone with Hazzem Ghonim. Says he has no idea that Wael Ghonim has been released. #Jan25 #Ghonim

Saudi tweep Essam Al Zamil writes (Ar):

ننتظر رؤية صورة جديدة لوائل غنيم في ميدان التحرير.. او تويتة من حسابه.. عشان نرتاح مية بالمية #jan25 #Ghonim @Ghonim
We are looking forward to seeing a recent image for Ghonim in Tahrir Square or at least a tweet from his account .. so that we can be assured

@Dima_Khatib: Many of you are saying: until I read a tweet from @Ghonim I won't believe he is free. People have ZERO trust in the REGIME! #jan25 #egypt

@Ambitionissta: @AJArabic we need tangible proof that he is released, all this is now is recycled news! #Jan25 pictures please! @ghonim

Others need to check in person:

@Salma_ts2al: tab who has wael @Ghonim's no.? please #Jan25 #Egypt

@hkhalifa: @Ghonim welcome back. Get some rest and then tell the whole world what happened.

Ghonim tweets @Ghonim. Stay tuned for more updates when Ghonim comes online and tells us his story.

This post is part of our special coverage of Egypt Protests 2011.

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