Public Prosecution releases 41 pretrial detainees, including activists

Ahram Online , Sunday 24 Apr 2022

The Prosecutor-General decided to release 41 pretrial activist detainees on Sunday after completing some legal procedures in their prisons, informed sources told Ahram Online.

Egyptian Public Prosecution building


Earlier in the day, Mohamed Abdel-Aziz, the deputy chairperson of the Human Rights Committee in the House of Representative, announced the release of a number of political activists, including Walid Shawky, Mohamed Salah, Abdou Fayed, Haitham El-Banna, and Ahmed Emam.

Political activists shared on social media platforms photos of journalist Mohamed Salah, Sixth of April activist Walid Shawky, and economic researcher Abdou Fayed after their release outside prison.

Egyptian law allows the government to hold those accused of crimes for up to two years pending a referral to trial.

Meanwhile, the liberal-oriented Reform and Development Party issued a statement on Sunday, noting that its chairperson, Mohamed Anwar Esmat El-Sadat, celebrated with the families and relatives of the released, “who had been in pretrial detention on political, freedom of opinion, and expression cases, and ascribe to various political orientations.”

El-Sadat has been lobbying the government to release pretrial detainees who have not been involved in terrorism-related cases.

Additionally, Moushira Khattab, the President of Egypt’s National Council for Human Rights (NCHR), expressed in a statement the council's optimism regarding the potential positive outcomes of the release, stressing that the upcoming period would witness further legal revisions for the conditions of a number of pretrial detainees who applied for the presidential pardon.

Khattab also lauded the recent steps taken by the Egyptian state — represented by President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi — in human rights areas, noting that there is clearly a true political will to promote and enhance human rights in a way that is in line with international human rights standards and conventions in light of the new Egyptian republic, which aims to ensure a decent life for all Egyptians.

El-Sadat — who is also deputy chairperson of the NCHR — stressed that the upcoming period would witness legal and humanitarian revisions to release more of the pretrial detainees and prisoners who meet the conditions of the presidential or conditional pardon.

Moreover, according to Abdel-Aziz, the human rights parliamentary committee will expand in its activities and will include indebted men and woman besides young activists.

Last September, during the launch of Egypt’s National Strategy for Human Rights , the president said the Egyptian state "is committed to respecting and protecting" personal freedoms, the right of political participation, the freedom of expression and the right of the formation of civil society organizations.

He noted that Egypt "welcomes" differences in opinions as long as they respect the freedoms of others and aim, through constructive criticism, to achieve the better for the country and people.

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