Google Marketing Chief Released from Egyptian Custody

Ghonim speaking to a crowd on February 8, 2011. AP Photo: Tara Todras-Whitehill

Google’s head of marketing for the Middle East and North Africa, Wael Ghonim, appeared before news cameras after he was released last night.

Ghonim’s whereabouts were unknown after he tweeted a couple of weeks ago “Pray for #Egypt. Very worried as it seems that government is planning a war crime tomorrow against people. We are all ready to die #Jan25.” Anyone with information about Ghonim’s whereabouts had been asked to submit details to this wiki.

Ghonim created the Facebook group “We are All Khaled Said,” which has been a spark behind the protests in Tahrir Square. According to PC Magazine, it’s dedicated to an Egyptian man who was allegedly killed by police.

Speaking to Egypt’s Dream TV (translation below the clip), Ghonim asked that people not make a “hero” out of him.

“The real heros are those people on the ground, please direct the camera and give the attention to those people,” he said. “And God willing we will change this country.”

The Wall Street Journal says Ghonim wanted to remain anonymous. During his detention, officers were surprised by the origins of the massive protests.

“His interrogators in detention, too, expressed disbelief that ‘a few young guys’ organized through Facebook could have spurred the mass protests rocking Egypt for more than two weeks,” the paper writes. “Mr. Ghonim said they pressed to know whether there were outside forces involved.”