Missing Egyptian-German writer reappears, safe

Ahram Online, Wednesday 27 Nov 2013

Controversial author Hamed Abdel-Samad accuses business partners of kidnapping him for three days

Germany based Egyptian writer Hamed Abdel-Samad (Photo: Reuters)

Egyptian-German writer Hamed Abdel-Samad, suspected to have been kidnapped in Cairo Sunday, has returned to his hotel on his own volition, a security official told state news agency MENA Wednesday.

The source added that Abdel-Samad, 42, was not physically injured and that he informed his brother — who filed a police report suspecting his kidnapping — of his return.

Abdel-Samad's brother, Mahmoud, had named two suspects in connection to his brother's disappearance: hardline Islamist figure Assem Abdel-Maged, who publicly declared Abdel-Samad an apostate earlier this year for his secularist views, and Abdel-Samad's business partners, whom he says owe him a large sum of money.

The security official said that Abdel-Samad has accused his business partners of kidnapping him for three days.

The Germany-based author had requested protection from the Egyptian authorities in June after ultra-conservative Islamists launched an online campaign calling for his death after he gave a keynote speech on "Islamic fascism" at a seminar in Cairo organised by Egypt's secularist movement.

He returned to Cairo in November.

The German Embassy in Egypt said Monday that Abdel-Samad is "safe and in the care of the German ambassador."

The German government had been following up on the case. On Monday, the German foreign ministry issued a statement saying Egyptian authorities were responsible for Abdel-Samad's safety.

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