Egyptian investigative reporter and activist Hossam Bahgat was released from custody on Tuesday, according to a human rights group, two days after he was detained for allegedly publishing false news.
The 36-year-old, who is one of Egypt's most respected journalists, was interrogated for nearly 10 hours on Sunday by military authorities before being transferred to a detention unit.
He was being held on charges of publishing false information endangering national security due to a recent article he had written about the Egyptian military.
On Tuesday, the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights (EIPR), a civil rights group he helped to found, wrote on Twitter that he had been released from prison and was on his way home. His release was also reported by Mada Masr, a news website for which he is a frequent contributor.
News of his release comes as a surprise to his supporters, many of whom had told BuzzFeed News they expected his detention to be extended.
Bahgat, who speaks fluent English, is warmly embraced by Western officials and international journalists.
Kenneth Roth, the executive director of Human Rights Watch, was damning on Sunday of Egypt's decision to detain Bahgat, calling it a "new low" for the country.
David Mack is a reporter and weekend editor for BuzzFeed News in New York.
Contact David Mack at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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