New York, NY, October 27, 2011 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today welcomed the release of American law student Ilan Grapel from Egyptian incarceration, but said it regretted that his freedom "had to come at a price."
"Ilan Grapel was detained under false charges, and should never been held in the first place," said Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director. "It is regrettable that his freedom had to come at a price, and that others who have been unjustly charged with spying for Israel continue to be held in Egypt."
Mr. Foxman added, "We express great appreciation to the American and Israeli governments for facilitating the agreement that led to his successful release, and especially acknowledge the efforts of New York Congressman Gary Ackerman and the friends and family of Ilan Grapel, who worked tirelessly for his release."
Grapel, an Emory law student who holds both U.S. and Israeli citizenship, was arrested in Cairo in June and accused of spying for Israel while on a summer program working in a legal clinic. Israel vehemently denied the espionage charges. In exchange for his safe release, the Israeli government has released 25 Egyptian prisoners held in Israeli prisons for non-security related offenses.
Upon his return to Israel, Grapel was reunited with his mother and will meet with defense officials before being flown back to the U.S., where he will be reunited with the rest of his family.