After more than a year in prison, American University in Cairo sociology Professor Saad Eddin Ibrahim, 64, was freed on Dec. 3, when Egypt's highest appeals court ordered a January retrial. Ibrahim had been sentenced to seven years by a special state security court for "defaming Egypt" by disseminating information about problems between Egypt's Muslims and Christians and accepting European Union money to monitor elections without government permission.
The case had been taken up by human rights groups, and the U.S. had protested by threatening to block new aid to Egypt. Now, Ibrahim is hopeful that the retrial will acquit him and that he can return to his work. EDITED BY Edited by Rose Brady