Egyptian MP Tarek El-Khouly, a member of the Presidential Pardon Committee, said that he has received a “declaration of repentance” from a number of imprisoned members of the banned Muslim Brotherhood organization, which he will forward to the presidency.
Speaking to Al-Ahram Arabic website, MP El-Khouly said that these messages from the Brotherhood prisoners were sent to him "in his personal capacity," explaining that the pardon committee has clear criteria for considering cases for pardon which exclude those affiliated with the banned group.
In December 2013, the Egyptian government designated the Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist organisation as the government blamed the group for a number of deadly attacks on security forces in the aftermath of the ouster of Islamist president Mohamed Morsi in July of that year.
In the last three years, many Brotherhood members have received various prison sentences on charges that range from breaking the protest law to incitement against the government and carrying out terrorist attacks.
El-Khouly said that the Brotherhood prisoners “confess to being members of the Brotherhood, but they have renounced these ideas as well as the Brotherhood itself, expressing remorse and requesting pardon.”
The MP stressed that the presidency is the authority responsible for issuing pardons, and that the prisoners’ repentance may be a ruse to get out of prison.
The committee to review the cases of imprisoned Egyptian youths was formed by President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi out of the National Youth Conference held in Sharm El-Sheikh in late October.
The five-member committee comprises prominent politician and member of the Free Egyptians Party Osama El-Ghazaly Harb, writer Nashwa El-Houfy, National Council for Human Rights member Mohamed Abdel-Aziz, along with MP El-Khouly and El-Sakka, a former member of El-Sisi's electoral campaign.
In November, El-Sisi pardoned all 82 prisoners included on the first list of those recommended for pardon by the committee.
The second list of those recommended for pardon was recently submitted to the presidency but is still awaiting approval.
Members of the committee have recently told Ahram Online it is preparing a third list.