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Egypt's Ghonim, Held 12 Days: I'm No Hero

Updated at 8:01 p.m. ET

CAIRO - A Google manager held in Egypt for about 10 days over anti-government protests was freed Monday.

Shortly after his release, Wael Ghonim, a Google Inc. marketing manager who took part in the protests and was reported missing Jan. 27, tweeted: "Freedom is a bless that deserves fighting for it. #Jan25"

Scroll down to read excerpts from an interview Ghonim gave to Egyptian TV.

Ghonim later elaborated on Egyptian TV, saying: "I offer my condolences to (the families of) all the Egyptians who have been killed. I offer my condolences to them. I'm not going to say that I apologize to them because we don't want ... None of us were breaking things up. We were all taking part in peaceful protests. Our motto was: 'Don't break'. I want to say one more time, please don't try to make a hero out of me for I am not one. I am just a guy who has been sleeping for 12 days. The real heroes are the ones who went down in the streets. Please turn your cameras towards the right people. I want to say that I am well, and we will change our country, god willing. All this 'rubbish' that was filling the country has to be cleared away. All of us are one hand, and will clean it."

Ghonim's family told CBS News they would not celebrate his release in honor of those who suffered and gave up much more than he did.

The Google manager was apparently freed by ruling party secretary general Hosam Badrawy. He wrote on his Twitter feed: "Gave my 2 cents to Dr. Hosam Badrawy. who was reason why I am out today. Asked him resign cause that's the only way I'll respect him #Jan25"

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Before he went missing, Ghonim wrote on his Twitter feed: "Pray for #Egypt. Very worried as it seems that government is planning a war crime tomorrow against people. We are all ready to die #Jan25."

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

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."

In a live interview Monday with Egypt's Dream 2 TV, Wael Ghonim had plenty to say about the situation in Cairo. Below are selected quotes from his interview.

"I cried my heart out when I learned that police stations have been torched, that officers and other people were killed. This is my country."

"[The government] did not believe that the people were really going to go down in the streets and they probably said this is just going to be a small demonstration. But we were very optimistic. I was chatting with Ahmed Maher from the 6th [of] April movement - he did not know me, by the way; we used to chat but he didn't know who I was - but he told me, 'I'm very optimistic. I feel this is going to be really big, much bigger than we ever imagined.' I told him, 'I too am optimistic."

"What I want to say is that we were not doing this in order to ruin our country. On the contrary, all we wanted is for each one of us to have rights."

"What we want today is, enough is enough. This is the moment when we all need to step back and say to ourselves whatever happened happened, and start thinking about several things. No. 1: How to restore to each and every Egyptian their dignity. No. 2: How to combat all forms of corruption in order not to let corruption happen again so that there would not be organized corruption, so that there wouldn't be people stealing and the other people under them are stealing, and everybody is stealing. We don't want that. We want to restore the youth's sense of belonging. A lot of the youths who went out in the streets have it but there are many more who don't, and who couldn't care less."

"When the interior minister asked me what's the problem, I told him we have two problems. The first problem is that we don't talk. That's because they - and I mean by that the political regime - they have a haughty, fatherly way. They'd say, 'We know what you're doing. You're not really paying attention to what's happening. There are many things happening that you're not aware of, so step aside son, eat bread, eat burgers and take a nap."

"That's the first problem, that we don't talk to each other. So we end up with me talking in one direction, him talking in another direction, and it became normal that I would say that you are a traitor and you say about me that I am an agent and that's it. We keep it there and survival for the fittest and the battle goes on. This is the first problem, that we don't speak to each other.

"The second problem is the lack of trust…we had too many 'cats' and too many palaces. We had people who made a living out of misleading others. They thought that they were talking to a flock of sheep that they were leading. News reports were published and I'm sure that whoever wrote them knows that they're false, misleading, non-objective."

"I want to tell every mother and every father who lost their sons: I am truly sorry. This was not our mistake. I swear to god it wasn't our fault. It's the fault of everyone who was clinging on to power and doesn't want to let go[.]"

"We are a people that deserves a lot better than what's happening to us."

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