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Egyptian filmmaker released after detention with American who returned to US

CAIRO – An Egyptian filmmaker who was detained along with an American translator last month says he has been released, but still stands accused of spying and spreading rumours against the military government.

Hossam Eddin el-Meneai, a 36-year-old Egyptian documentary filmmaker from the Sinai Peninsula, was arrested along with his American roommate Jeremy Hodge late Jan. 22 at their apartment in the Dokki neighbourhood of Cairo. Hodge, a translator, was released four days later.

Meneai, who denies the charges, said by telephone that while he was held police beat him repeatedly on his knees, and one officer threatened to shoot him with a pistol. He said police treated him harshly him after learning he was from Sinai, and moved him to a cell reserved for hard criminals.