Cairo, Egypt (CNN) - Wael Ghonim, the Egyptian activist being hailed by many fellow protesters as a hero, had a message Wednesday for his country's leaders: "If you are true Egyptians, if you are heroic Egyptians, it's time to step down."
In an exclusive interview with CNN, Ghonim, who was freed by Egyptian authorities on Monday after 10 days, said it is "no longer the time to negotiate" with the regime of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak.
"There's a lot of blood now" that has been spilled, he said. It's time for people at the highest levels of the government "to apologize to the families" of those killed, he said.
Human Rights Watch said Tuesday the number of people killed in the Egyptian protests has reached 302 - 232 in Cairo, 52 in Alexandria and 18 in Suez.
Ghonim played a key role in organizing the protests that have convulsed Egypt for more than two weeks. He was the administrator of a Facebook page that is widely credited with calling the first protest January 25. A Google executive who lives in Dubai with his wife and two children, he had returned to Egypt for the protests.
His disappearance January 28 quickly captured international attention.
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