File Photo: Inmates leaving the prison of Tora Farm Prison after they were set free. Al-Ahram
The pardon committee, which was first formed in 2016 and reactivated by President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi in late April during the annual Egyptian Family Iftar Banquet, stated that the first pardons will be announced soon, including from the tens of cases it has already received in the past few days.
The committee also welcomed the National Training Academy’s (NTA) announcement Tuesday that the National Dialogue would be be run in a neutral and impartial way among all segments of society that will be invited to participate.
The re-activated committee started its work in late April receiving the names of prisoners for presidential pardoning consideration from various parties and political forces, the National Council for Human Rights (NCHR), the Human Rights Committee of the House of Representatives and families, as well as directly through its own official website.
The scope of the work of the re-activated committee has been expanded to include imprisoned male and female debtors.
The pardon committee comprises the Deputy Chairperson of the Human Rights Committee in the House of Representative Mohamed Abdel-Aziz, MP Tarek El-Kholy, former member of the 2016 committee Karim El-Sakka, human rights lawyer Tarek El-Awady and Egypt's former Minister of Manpower Kamal Abu Eita.
In late April 2022, Egypt's Public Prosecution ordered the release of 41 pretrial activist detainees in the prelude to the reactivation of the pardon committee.
On 1 May, the prosecution also released three journalists who were in pretrial detention.
Meanwhile, well-known activist Hossam Mones received a presidential pardon in early May.