Briton arrested in Egypt on spying charges says he is free
CAIRO (AP) — A British-Libyan tourist says Egyptian authorities released him two weeks after he was arrested over a video he filmed on his cellphone that showed a military helicopter in the background.
Muhammed Fathi AbulKasem announced his release in a one-minute audio message posted on YouTube on Dec. 8, thanking his family and supporters.
“I’m not ready to talk right now, but I feel I owe you, due to your support, to inform you I’m out. I was ready to give up mentally and physically, but that’s for another time. Unfortunately at the moment I can’t tell you what went on . but in due time, I will be back,” he said without elaborating.
The 19-year-old AbulKasem said he was held in “an Egyptian hellhole.”
AbulKasem is from Manchester but has been living in the Libyan capital, Tripoli. He was arrested on Nov. 21, shortly after arriving in Egypt’s coastal city of Alexandria from neighboring Libya.
His cousin, Shareen Nawaz, said at the time of his arrest that he was being held “on suspicion of collecting information against the military.”
He filmed the video while his flight was landing, capturing a military helicopter flying by, she said.
Photographing or filming military facilities, equipment or personnel is strictly prohibited in Egypt and many other countries.
In a Facebook post after his release, Nawaz said AbulKasem had three court hearings before being “cleared of all of the ridiculous charges,” without elaborating.