Egypt pardons 42 indebted women

Ahram Online , Thursday 16 Jul 2015

The move comes as part of the presidency's "Egypt without debts" campaign

Egypt's president Abd EL-Fattah El-Sisi in an interview with Reuters when he was still a presidential candidate in May 2014. (Photo: Reuters)

Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi has pardoned 42 indebted women on the occasion of Eid Al-Fitr, the Muslim religious feast, on Thursday.

The decree comes under the campaign "Egypt without debts," which applies to those who failed to repay loans borrowed for family expenses.

According to Article 376 in the penal code, debtors may face up to three years in prison. The law states that debtors may be released from prison only if their debts are paid for them, or the person they owe pardons them.

All 42 women were convicted of failing to pay fines and fees due to poor circumstances. Their debts were paid and necessary steps will be taken for their immediate release on Thursday.

In June, El-Sisi pardoned 48 women under the same campaign.

Misr El-Kheir Foundation, a charity organisation in Egypt, has managed to pay the debts of 23,000 people, while also providing them with small work projects, in the past five years with the help of donations.

There are no clear number of women unable to repay loans in Egypt. But according to Misr El-Kheir Foundation, tens of thousands of women fail to meet their payment commitments and end up in prison.

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