US welcomes Egypt’s release of former MP Ziad El-Eleimy by presidential pardon

Amr Kandil , Wednesday 26 Oct 2022

The US has welcomed the release of renowned Egyptian lawyer and former parliament member Ziad El-Eleimy, who received a pardon from President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi on Monday.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken speaks during the TechWomen 10th anniversary closing ceremony, Mon
Secretary of State Antony Blinken speaks during the TechWomen 10th anniversary closing ceremony, Monday, Oct. 24, 2022. AP


“As Secretary [of State Antony] Blinken has made clear, Egypt's progress on human rights strengthens our bilateral relationship,” US State Department spokesman Ned Price tweeted on Tuesday.

El-Eleimy walked out of jail on Monday afternoon hours after receiving a presidential pardon in response to calls by political parties and forces after more than three years behind bars.

Political parties, public figures, and activists hailed the pardoning of El-Eleimy as a positive step ahead of the upcoming national dialogue, which Egypt is preparing to conduct among political and partisan forces to reach common grounds on national priorities.

In November, El-Eleimy received a final five-year-prison sentence by the emergency state security misdemeanour court for spreading false news on social media, among other charges, in the case known in the media as the “Hope Cell” plot.

El-Eleimy served as an MP representing the Egyptian Social Democratic Party in the 2012 parliament.

The US welcomed the National Human Rights Strategy that the Egyptian president launched in September last year and the national plans to advance human rights in the country in cooperation with civil society.

The US gives over $1 billion in military aid to Egypt every year, $300 million of which the Congress has recently made contingent on improvement of the human rights situation in the country.

A total of 1,040 pretrial detainees have been released since El-Sisi reactivated the Presidential Pardon Committee and called for the national dialogue with the opposition and other political forces in April, committee member Tarek El-Awady said last Thursday. Egypt has also pardoned 15 convicted activists since April.

Short link: