Egyptian authorities release 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. Facebook/Presidential Pardon Committee member Tarek El Khouli
According to committee member and lawyer Tarek El-Awady, the authorities ordered the release of 23 pretrial detainees from Tora prison, 26 detainees from Abu-Zaabel prison, eight detainees from El-Qanatir prison, one detainee from Minya prison and two detainees from the Central Prison.
El-Awady, in a series of posts on his official Facebook account, added that among the released pretrial detainees were 18 insurance company employees who were arrested after protesting their companies’ salary policies in 2020.
The prominent lawyer published a list of the names of the released detainees which he described the biggest since the re-activation of the committee.
According to other human rights lawyers, among the freed detainees were members of Zamalek Sports Club’s Ultras.
According to committee member Karim El-Sakka, 99 pretrial detainees have already been released in the past 10 days
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.
In May, El-Awady said the committee is working on a list of pardon requests for 2,418 detainees and prisoners drafted by human rights groups.
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.
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.
The presidential decree, published in the official gazette on Wednesday, did not specify the number of pardoned prisoners, but it stated that the prisoners who were sentenced to life in prison and meet certain criteria will be pardoned if they have already spent at least 15 years in jail.
Those prisoners will be under police surveillance for five years after their release.
The decree also stated that the pardon will include prisoners who have spent one third of their sentence’s term, provided they have spent more than four months in prison.
Egypt pardons prisoners during national and religious celebrations.