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Egypt frees Al Jazeera journalist who's been on hunger strike for more than 130 days

Abdullah El-Shamy was one of 13 people freed on health grounds.

Egypt al jazeera trial may 3 2014Enlarge
Al Jazeera Cairo bureau chief Mohamed Fahmy speaks to Egyptian Judge Mohamed Nagy Shehata after being allowed to leave the defendant cage during the trial of 20 individuals, including five Al Jazeera journalists. (MOHAMED EL-SHAHED/AFP/Getty Images)

Egypt's public prosecutor ordered the release on Monday on medical grounds of Al Jazeera journalist Abdullah El-Shamy, who had been on hunger strike for more than 130 days in protest over his detention, a statement from the prosecutor's office said.

Three other Al Jazeera journalists are on trial on charges of aiding ousted President Mohamed Morsi's Muslim Brotherhood, which the state has declared a terrorist group as part of a fierce security crackdown after the army ousted Mursi last July.

A court said on Monday it would rule on June 23 in their case.

Shamy was one of 13 people freed on health grounds on Monday, all of whom were arrested when police dispersed Morsi supporters in northeast Cairo on Aug. 14 last year, the most violent day in Egypt's recent history which left hundreds of people dead including dozens of police officers.

More from GlobalPost: What really happened on the day more than 900 people died in Egypt

The other 12 were supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood.

Their lawyers had appealed to the prosecution for their release on health grounds, saying they were all suffering from ailments, a prosecution source said.

Shamy and the Brotherhood supporters were charged with violence and killing police officers.

(Reporting by Yasmine Saleh; Editing by Sonya Hepinstall)

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/middle-east/egypt/140617/egypt-free-al-jazeera-journalist-whos-been-hunger-str