New group of pretrial detainees to be released ‘within hours’: Egypt Presidential Pardon Committee

El-Sayed Gamal El-Din , Monday 30 May 2022

Lawyer Tarek El-Awady — a member of the Presidential Pardon Committee — said on Monday that authorities have ordered the release of a new group of pretrial detainees from detention, adding that it should happen “within hours.”

Mohamed Mohie El-Din
From left to right: Ayman Abdel-Moati, Sherif El-Rubi, Mohamed Mohie El-Din


The list includes pretrial detainees who have been jailed pending investigation in different cases, including researcher and writer Ayman Abdel-Moati, former spokesperson of the 6 April Movement Sherif El-Rubi, and two others, according to El-Awady, who made the announcement in a post on his Facebook page.

In another post, El-Awady said that the authorities have also ordered the release of activist and former MP Mohamed Mohie El-Din, and activist Abdel-Rahman Tarek (aka Moka).

Abdel-Moati was arrested in October 2018 and accused of joining a terrorist group and spreading fake news, while El-Rubi was arrested in April 2018 and accused of spreading false news and misusing social media.

Meanwhile, Mohie El-Din was arrested in February 2019 and faced charges of spreading and airing false news and misusing a social media platform as well as working with a terrorist organisation, while Moka was arrested in September 2019 and accused of joining a terrorist group.

On Sunday, El-Awady said the authorities ordered the release of a new group of pretrial detainees from different cases, including researcher Kholoud Said, activist Sameh Soudi, and journalist Khaled Ghoneim.

Authorities also ordered the release of lawyer Hassan El-Sayad, who has been in pretrial detention pending investigation since 2019, said human rights lawyer Khaled Ali in a Facebook post today.

Those accused of crimes can be detained for two years, per the Egyptian penal code.

These orders come a month after Egypt’s President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi ordered the reactivation of the Presidential Pardon Committee, which was first formed in 2016, and called for a national political dialogue without “exceptions or exclusion.”

On 24 April, the Prosecutor-General ordered the release of 41 pretrial detainees.

Additionally, several prisoners who had received final verdicts were granted presidential pardons in April and May.

The 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.

Additional batches of detainees who have been granted presidential pardons will be released on Monday and Thursday, El-Awady said earlier on Sunday.

Furthermore, the committee is working through a list of requested pardons for 2,418 detainees and prisoners that was sent in a letter by multiple human rights groups on 23 May, El-Awady added.

Previously, the committee said it will receive pardon requests through many avenues, including through the National Youth Conference’s website.

It 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.

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