Egypt releases 33 pretrial detainees, including economist Omar El-Shenety

Ahram Online , Monday 7 Aug 2023

The Public Prosecution has released 33 pretrial detainees, including businessman and economist Omar El-Shenety, and human rights lawyer Youssef Mansour, said Lawyer Tarek El-Awadi, a member of the Presidential Pardon Committee on Monday.

El-Shenety (L) and Dino (R) few minutes after their release from detention on Monday.


El-Shenety, a former member of the Al-Wasat party, was arrested in June 2019 over accusations of collaborating with the terrorist-designated Muslim Brotherhood group abroad to spark violence and riots in the country.

He was detained in connection with case 930, known in the media as the “Hope Cell” plot, along with former MP Ziad El-Eleimy, Karama Party member Hossam Mones and journalist Hisham Fouad, said lawyer Khaled Ali to Ahram Online.

However, El-Eleimy, Mones, and Fouad received a presidential pardon in 2022 after they were sentenced to 4 and 5 years in prison following their conviction in a different case.

On the other hand, Mansour was arrested in March 2022 on charges of joining a terrorist organization and spreading false news.

The list of released pretrial detainees also included the 6 April Youth Movement member Ahmed Hassanin (AKA Dino). 

Since April 2022, the Public Prosecution has released hundreds of pretrial detainees as the government embarked on a national dialogue with opposition and societal forces.

In tandem, President El-Sisi issued several pardons for high-profile activists serving sentences after receiving final verdicts in several cases.

The Presidential Pardon Committee, established in 2016 to review the cases of pretrial detainees and others who fulfil certain criteria, was reactivated in April 2022.

The committee receives appeals from entities and political bodies, such as the National Council for Human Rights (NCHR) and Parliament’s Human Rights Committee, and via its website.

The Public Prosecution's decision to release this group of detainees was "warmly and positively received by the National Dialogue's Board of Trustees," according to Diaa Rashwan, the General Coordinator of the Dialogue.

Rashwan stated that the board believes these decisions will contribute to creating a more positive atmosphere for the success of the National Dialogue. 

He added that the board hoped for similar decisions in the future.

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