Google Exec Made Silent Voice of Egypt Uprising

Wael Ghonim, Google's head of marketing for the Middle East and North Africa, is reported missing in Egypt.

Wael Ghonim, Google's head of marketing for the Middle East and North Africa.

A leader of Egypt's "6th of April" youth opposition movement tells CBS News' Khaled Wassef that the protesters in Cairo's Tahrir Square have symbolically nominated Google's missing executive as their spokesperson in order to press the Egyptian authorities to release him.

Wael Ghonim has been missing since a mass protest on Jan. 25 -- organized largely by the April 6 movement -- sparked a week of anti-government upheaval across Egypt.

The government has not confirmed that the Internet giant's Middle East marketing manager is being held by authorities. Google released a statement Wednesday saying the company has no new information on Ghonim's whereabouts or condition.

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Egypt's newly appointed government -- put in place by Mubarak and seen largely as a very minimal departure from his 30-year-old regime -- urging protesters on Wednesday to take part in a reconciliation dialogue. April 6th's decision to name the missing Ghonim as spokesman for the thousands of demonstrators camped out in Cairo's central plaza was the opposition movement's response:

If the government leaders "want to talk to us, talk to Ghonim," a senior member of the group told Wassef Thursday morning.

Journalist Belal Fadl told Al-Jazeera television on Wednesday that Ghonim's family was receiving "terrorizing" phone calls in the middle of the night.

Wael Ghonim's brother Hazem told Fadl that the family has been called during the middle of the night and told that Ghonim is being "taught a lesson".

  • Tucker Reals

    Tucker Reals is the CBSNews.com foreign editor, based at the CBS News London bureau.

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