Italian PM Meloni thanks President Sisi for pardoning Patrick George Zaki

Ahram Online , Wednesday 19 Jul 2023

Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni thanked Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi for pardoning human rights researcher Patrick George Zaki on Wednesday, hailing the step as a very important gesture.



In a video message, Meloni announced that Zaki, 33, an Egyptian researcher, will be returning to Italy on Thursday to continue his postgraduate studies at Bologna University.

"Since our first meeting in November, I have raised the question [with President El-Sisi] and I have always found that he is listening and helpful. I want to thank the intelligence, the diplomats, both Italian and Egyptian," Meloni noted.

Earlier on Wednesday, President El-Sisi issued a presidential pardon for Zaki and a number of other prisoners who received final jail sentences in response to requests made by various political forces.

On Tuesday, Mansoura High Emergency State Security Court sentenced Zaki to three years in jail on charges of spreading false news inside and outside the country.

The verdicts of high emergency state security courts cannot be appealed. However, the president has the prerogative to not ratify these verdicts or grant pardons to those convicted by these emergency courts, per the country's constitution.

Zaki is scheduled to be released from detention before 9am on Thursday, rights lawyer Khaled Ali told Ahram Online.

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