On the occasion of National Police Day and the anniversary of the 25 January revolution, the Egyptian interior ministry has released 6,931 prisoners and debt defaulters, as part of Egypt’s President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi “Prisons without Debt Defaulters” initiative.
Some 4,063 prisoners were given a presidential pardon and released,
Meanwhile, 2,868 debt defaulters were released after their debts were settled by the Tahya Misr state fund, the prisoners’ relatives, and other civil society and non-governmental organisations
The Prisons without Debt Defaulters initiative was launched in August last year, with the aim of releasing those jailed for outstanding personal debts.
Those imprisoned in Egypt for failure to pay debts are disproportionately women.
The head of the Egyptian parliament's human rights committee, Alaa Abed, said in August that the committee is in the process of amending two laws with the aim of eliminating prison sentences for individuals who default on debt payments.
The Tahya Misr fund was established by El-Sisi in 2014 to support social and economic projects.
According to the Prison Authority, around 100,000 prisoners have been released in total from 2014 to October 2018, including 15,960 debt defaulters.
Those released include 46,000 who received presidential pardons, and 54,000 released conditionally.