News ID: 215171
Published: 1256 GMT May 16, 2018

Egypt’s president pardons over 330 mostly young prisoners

Egypt’s president pardons over 330 mostly young prisoners

Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi pardoned more than 330 people, many of them youths jailed for demonstrating in recent years.

Sisi told a youth conference in Cairo, broadcast on state television, that he had asked the Interior Ministry to ensure that the pardoned youth prisoners are released, Reuters wrote.

“We signed off on more than 330 [pardoned], and I ask of the interior minister that these youths spend tonight in their homes,” Sisi said.

Wednesday’s pardon will secure the release of 332 people, including two members of Egypt’s Destour Party and a number of prisoners with health problems, state-run news website Al-Ahram Gate reported.

A full list of those pardoned was not immediately available.

Since coming to power in 2014, Sisi has presided over a sweeping crackdown on opponents and liberal activists that rights groups say is the worst in their history.

He has issued pardons several times a year, including on major national holidays, often releasing students and young protesters.

In 2013, Egypt passed a law requiring permission from the Interior Ministry for any public gathering of over 10 people, effectively ending the mass protests that helped unseat two presidents in the span of three years, beginning in 2011.

Rights groups say the suppression of dissent continues.

A state security prosecutor on Tuesday ordered the detention of prominent political activist Shady Ghazaly Harb, who may now face terrorism charges, and a female activist who posted a video complaining of sexual harassment was detained last week.

Sisi does not have the authority to interfere in Egypt’s judicial processes but can issue pardons.


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