Egypt's Sisi pardons 502 prisoners before Eid

Ahram Online , Friday 23 Jun 2017

Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi (Reuters)

Egypt's President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi issued an official pardon for 502 prisoners in a number of cases including some in protest-related jail-sentences, the Egyptian presidency announced on Friday.

According to the presidency's statement, the prisoners include 25 women and 175 young men under the age of 30, as well as eight university professors, three lawyers and five engineers.

The pardon includes prisoners suffering from health problems who have already served three quarters of their jail sentences.

The names of pardonned prisoners were published in the Official Gazette.

A security source told the official state news agency that those pardoned were released from Torah and other prisons on Friday.

The presidency added that El-Sisi called on the Ministry of Interior to release the prisoners before the Eid al-Fitr holiday, which begins on Sunday in Egypt.

Article 155 of the Egyptian constitution stipulates that the president has the power to issue a pardon or mitigate a final sentence after consulting with the cabinet.

Businessman Hisham Talaat Mostapha is one of the prisoners included in the pardon.

Mostapha was serving 15 years jail sentence for his role in the murder case of artist Suzan Tamim in Dubai in 2008.

The Egyptian president had issued two previous pardons for youth imprisoned mostly for violating the 2013 Protest Law; the first pardon decree in November 2016 included 82 prisoners and the second in March 2017 included 203 prisoners.

The Protest Law mandates 1-3 years in jail for violators.

Tarek El-Khouly, a member of the presidential committee to pardon youth prisoners, told Ahram Arabic news website that those pardoned by the president included 175 prisoners under the age of 30 who were serving time in protest cases and were recommended by the committee to El-Sisi for a pardon.

El-Khouly said that while preparing its recommendation to the presidency the committee took into consideration requests from the teachers, lawyers and engineers syndicate for pardons for some of their jailed members.

Short link: