Egyptian Deputy Interior Minister for Prisons Authority Zakariya El-Ghamry said on Sunday that Egypt has released 15,960 debt defaulters since 2014.
In August 2018, the presidency announced the launch of the ‘Prisons Without Debt Defaulters’ initiative, which aims to release those jailed for outstanding debts.
The initiative aims to help some of the many Egyptians – disproportionally women – who have been imprisoned because they failed to repay loans borrowed for family expenses.
The Tahya Misr Fund, a fund established by President El-Sisi in 2014 to support social and economic projects, along with other civil society organisations, have settled the debt for the released prisoners, according to the statement.
El-Ghamry said their release has made Egyptian prisons better equipped to provide medical and psychological care for prisoners in accordance with human rights accords.
According to El-Ghamry, around 100,000 prisoners have been released in total since 2014, including debt defaulters. Those released include 46,000 who received presidential pardons, and 54,000 released conditionally.
There is no accurate data or estimate on the number of prisoners nationwide; however, several pieces of land have been allocated for the construction of new prisons.