A rights activist said Wednesday that Egypt freed a blogger who served four years in jail after being convicted of insulting Islam's Prophet Mohammed and Egypt's president Hosni Mubarak
Kareem Amer had been due to be released on November 5 but remained imprisoned, setting off protests from local and international rights groups.
"He was released yesterday morning," said Gamal Eid, the director of the Arabic Network for Human Rights Information.
Earlier this month, London-based Amnesty International called on Egypt to investigate allegations that Amer was beaten in a holding cell after he finished the sentence.
Eid, who was one of the lawyers representing Amer, said the blogger was punched and kicked by an officer before being released.
Police officials were not immediately available for comment.
Amer was a student at the Damanhur branch of Egypt's Al-Azhar University, the oldest Islamic seat of learning which also offers secular courses, when writings on his blog led to his expulsion.
Al-Azhar also filed a complaint against him to the public prosecutor. He was convicted in early 2007.
Limited reforms have opened space for the opposition, independent media and protest movements in Egypt, but police still routinely arrest opposition activists, and journalists have complained of government interference.