Egypt’s newly reactivated committee prepares new list of presidential pardons for Eid El-Fitr

Ahram Online , Saturday 30 Apr 2022

Egypt’s newly reactivated Presidential Pardon Committee has finished preparing a new list of prisoners who will be pardoned on the occasion of Eid El-Fitr, an official statement read on Saturday.



The statement, issued following the committee’s first meeting after reactivation, did not reveal the names or the number of people included in the list and whether they would include both prisoners and pretrial detainees.

The committee, created in 2016, was reactivated as per President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi’s directives during the Egyptian Family Iftar banquet that was held on Tuesday.

The committee is in charge of reviewing the cases of those imprisoned for political crimes and others who meet certain criteria, such as having more than one relative in jail.

The scope of the committee, which started work immediately upon reactivation, has been expanded to cooperation with state institutions and NGOs and to include male and female indebted prisoners.

The restructured committee 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, according to the statement.

The committee will complete its work after Eid El-Fitr, examining all pardon requests it receives from youth as well as male and female indebted prisoners, the statement said.

The committee will also hold a series of meetings with political parties, syndicates and civil society organisations to discuss their pardon requests.

Over the past week, thousands of inmates were released from Egyptian prisons. This included 3,273 inmates who received presidential pardons on Wednesday on the occasion of Sinai Liberation Day on 25 April.

Also, 41 pretrial activist detainees were released on Sunday.

In press remarks last week, veteran journalist Khaled Dawoud said he submitted a presidential pardon request for a list of 25 pretrial detainees and eight prisoners who received sentences, including renowned activists.

The list included the names of "Amal Cell" convicts former MP and lawyer Ziad El-Eleimy, journalists Hisham Fouad and Hossam Mones, said Dawoud. Mones was released last week.

The list also includes lawyer Mohamed El-Baqer and blogger Mohamed Ibrahim (aka Mohamed Oxygen), said Dawoud, who was released in April last year after being detained for two years pretrial.

Dawoud’s remarks came shortly after he had side talks with President El-Sisi during the Iftar banquet on Tuesday.

The NCHR has hailed the decision to reactivate, restructure and expand the scope of work of the pardon committee.

In a statement, the NCHR said the step confirms that there is real intention to close a file that tends to distort Egypt’s image abroad and have negative effects on any opportunities to conduct an effective and integral political dialogue.

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