A number of inmates reunited with their families after being released from Wadi Al-Natroun Correctional and Rehabilitation Centre in northern Egypt as per a presidential pardon. Egyptian Ministry of Interior/still image
The ministry said its social protection department has studied the files of inmates in rehabilitation and correctional centres nationwide to determine those eligible for presidential pardon.
It added in a video that the decision came as the pardoned convicts have been rehabilitated and are ready to reintegrate into society after they received social, educational, health, living and cultural care.
The video showed a number of inmates of the Wadi Al-Natroun Correctional and Rehabilitation Centre in northern Egypt reunited with their families after they were released and thanking President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi for the decision.
The decision comes "within the framework of the interior ministry’s keenness to apply a modern punitive policy and provide all aspects of care to inmates,” the ministry said in a statement.
President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi issued a presidential decree on Wednesday to pardon a number of prisoners on the occasion of Eid El-Adha and the 70th anniversary of the 1952 Revolution.
Egypt has released thousands of inmates as per presidential pardon decisions over the recent years on different national and religious occasions.
Last week, Egyptian authorities ordered the release of 60 pretrial detainees in what is described by members of the Presidential Pardon Committee as the biggest release of pretrial detainees since its re-activation in April.
Formed in 2016, the Presidential Pardon Committee is mandated to review the cases of those imprisoned for political crimes and others who meet certain conditions, such as families who have more than one relative in jail.
El-Sisi ordered reviving the committee during the annual Egyptian Family Iftar Banquet on 26 April, calling also for holding a national dialogue between political forces “without discrimination or exception.”
On the first session of the National Dialogue last Tuesday, Head of Journalists’ Syndicate Diaa Rashwan, general coordinator of the dialogue, said 450 people have been released from prisons since the president called for the dialogue.
The restructured committee has said it will receive pardon requests through many avenues, including through the National Youth Conference website.
The committee will also receive requests through the complaints committee of the National Council for Human Rights (NCHR) and via email to the human rights committees in both the House of the Representatives and Senate.
Pardon requests can also be submitted directly to the members of the pardon committee.