A prominent Egyptian activist and blogger, Alaa Abd El Fattah, who was jailed for allegedly inciting violence, has been freed after almost two months in captivity.
Abd El Fattah was detained on 30 October after he refused to answer questions about his role in clashes during a march by Coptic Christians on 9 October. At least 27 people, most of them Christians, were killed in those clashes.
Abd El Fattah was among those who spoke out against the army''s involvement in the violence, which was confirmed by multiple witness reports and video footage.
But the Egyptian military accused Abd El Fattah of inciting Christian protesters to attack the soldiers. He was also accused of stealing a military weapon, deliberately destroying military property and attacking security forces, The Guardian reports.
An Egyptian investigative judge, however, ordered that Abd El Fattah, who has been at the forefront of anti-regime struggles for a decade and was a political prisoner during the Mubarak era, be freed pending investigation into charges that he incited violence against the military.
His wife Manal Hassan, who is also an activist, gave birth to their first child while Abd El Fattah was in detention. Abd El Fattah had maintained that the military prosecutors could not question him since the military was suspected of involvement in the killings.
His case was handed to the civilian judge who ordered his release. The reasons for the release were not immediately made public, but Abd El Fattah had not been formally charged.