An imprisoned Al Jazeera journalist who’s been on a hunger strike for over four months will be released from an Egyptian prison on the order of the country’s top prosecutor, the AP reports.
Abdullah Elshamy and 12 others will be freed due to “health conditions.” Elshamy was taken in by Egyptian authorities last August while covering a protest held by supporters of ousted Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi.
Elshamy was never formally charged with a crime, and began a hunger strike in protest. His family had previously asked for him to be moved from prison to a hospital, citing his severe anemia and kidney problems.
“This is a relief rather than a cause for celebration,” an Al Jazeera spokesperson said in a statement. “Abdullah has been through a terrible ordeal for over ten months. He’ll want to spend time with his family and recuperate. When he’s ready, we look forward to seeing him back in action, doing the vital job of journalism that he so clearly loves.”
The news comes on the same day a verdict date of June 23 was set for three other Al Jazeera journalists imprisoned in Egypt.