Dutch man released after Egypt drone arrest

Skyline of Cairo, Egypt
Skyline of Cairo, EgyptPhoto: mikdam/DepositPhotos

A 43-year-old man from Amsterdam who was arrested for recording videos with a drone at his hotel in Cairo, has been released, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs confirmed. Pieter Bas Habes has been ordered to leave Egypt as quickly as possible, and the Dutch embassy will help him in this. He is doing well, though he needs some time to rest, the Ministry said, NOS reports.

"It is going well and we are very happy", Habes' lawyer said to NOS. The Amsterdam man is expected back in the Netherlands soon. Then more information about his release will be available, the lawyer said.

Habes was arrested at Tahrir Square in Cairo on September 25th for recording aerial footage of the square with his drone, according to the broadcaster. The police suspected him of making secret recordings of the national protests against the regime. His arrest was broadcast on an Egyptian television show, in which the presenter accused him and other detainees of espionage.

For some time there were concerns about Habes' wellbeing. It took the Ministry of Foreign Affairs more than a week to get confirmation from the Egyptian authorities about the man's arrest and whereabouts.