Presidency considering pardon for Egyptian activist Yahia Abdel-Hady: Pardon committee

Ahram Online , Monday 23 May 2022

The Egyptian presidency has said it will consider including the name of activist Yahia Hussein Abdel-Hady, sentenced on Monday to four years in prison, on a pardon list set to be issued “within days,” said the Presidential Pardon Committee.

 Yahia Hussein Abdel-Hady
Activist Yahia Hussein Abdel-Hady. File photo

A Cairo State Security Misdemeanour Court sentenced Abdel-Hady, the co-founder of the opposition Civil Democratic Movement, to four years in prison for intentionally spreading false news about Egypt locally and internationally.

In a statement on Monday, the Presidential Pardon Committee said it contacted the presidency after the ruling against Abdel-Hady to ask for a pardon, and that it had visited Abdel-Hady at his place of detention during Eid Al-Fitr early in May.

The committee said it respects the provisions of the constitution, the law, and the rulings of the judiciary, saying it always defends the independence of the judiciary.

“We stress that the rule of law will always guide all the work of the committee,” the statement said.

Abdel-Hady, 68, has been in pretrial detention since 2019. He was accused by the prosecution of spreading false news and misusing social media platforms, as well as working with a terrorist organisation.

Abdel-Hady gained fame during late president Hosni Mubarak’s era for his activism against the privatisation of the public sector.

The Presidential Pardon Committee was first formed in 2016 and reactivated by President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi in late April during the annual Egyptian Family Iftar Banquet to review the cases of those imprisoned for political crimes and others who meet certain criteria for presidential pardon.

The scope of the committee, which started work immediately upon reactivation, has been expanded to cooperate with state institutions and NGOs and to include imprisoned debtors.

On 10 May, the committee announced that it will issue a list of dozens of prisoners for presidential pardons soon, but the list has not yet been released.

More than 4,000 prisoners were granted presidential pardons in April and May on the occasion of Eid El-Fitr and Sinai Liberation Day.

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