Egyptian court orders release of anti-Gamal opposition leader

The Minister of the Interior received a court order on Wednesday to release Magdi Ahmed Hussein, a prominent activist and opposition leader who is serving a two-year prison sentence on charges of illegal entry into the Gaza Strip.

In February 2009, the Egyptian Military Court sentenced Hussein, the former secretary-general of Egypt's banned Islamic-oriented Labor Party, to prison for crossing the Egyptian border into the Gaza Strip during Israel's "Cast Lead" assault two years ago.

Judicial sources said the Administrative Court ruled on Wednesday against an Interior Ministry decision to extend Hussein’s imprisonment. Hussein's wife had filed a lawsuit in which she demanded the release of her husband in accordance with the Prisoners' Release Act, as he had already served three-quarters of his prison sentence.

Hussein was also the editor-in-chief of Al-Shaab daily, a Labor Party newspaper that was frozen by authorities in 2000. He is currently the general coordinator of the opposition Movement for Change, more popularly known as Kefaya (Enough), which seeks to prevent a hereditary transition of presidential power from President Hosni Mubarak to his younger son, Gamal.

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