Wael Ghonim, Google’s still-missing exec in Egypt, named spokesman for opposition group
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Wael Ghonim, the Google executive still missing in Egypt, has been appointed spokesman of the country’s 6th of April opposition movement, according to CBS News.
Ghonim has been reported missing since Jan. 25, after the first day of protests in Egypt against President Hosni Mubarak, who has held office for three decades.
There is widespread speculation that Ghonim, who is Google’s head of marketing in the Middle East and North Africa, is being held by Mubarak’s government, though the government hasn’t confirmed holding him.
On Thursday, a leader of the 6th of April opposition group told CBS reporter Khaled Wassef that the protesters in Cairo’s Tahrir Square had elected Ghonim the group’s spokesman. Tahir Square has been the scene of violent protests recently, with pro-Mubarak supporters having attacked thousands of anti-government demonstrators.
According to CBS, the 6th of April group told Wassef that if the government leaders want to talk to the group they need to talk to Ghonim.
The move from the 6th of April was made in an attempt to force Mubarak’s government to release Ghonim, CBS said.
The protests have not stopped since they kicked off Jan. 25, and demonstrators have said they won’t let up until Mubarak leaves the government and are even demanding he step down by Friday.
Google has released no new information on Ghonim, but did put out a call for help in finding him on Tuesday. Ghonim’s friends too are looking to the public to assist in locating him and have launched a search effort in Cairo.
Katelin Todhunter-Gerberg, a Google spokeswoman, said the company had no new information on Ghonim’s whereabouts and was declining to comment on things it couldn’t confirm.
Todhunter-Gerberg did, however, ask that people with any information call +44 20 7031 3008 or e-mail email@example.com.
CBS also reported that the Al Jazeera news agency has been told by Ghonim’s family that they have received threatening phone calls and have been told that Ghonim is being ‘taught a lesson.’
-- Nathan Olivarez-Giles