Egypt’s prison authority to release 110 inmates, months after Sisi’s pardon

Thursday 16-06-2016 03:42 PM

Tora prison - Reuters

CAIRO, Jun 16 (Aswat Masriya) – Egypt’s prison authority granted 110 inmates amnesty for the rest of their prison terms and paroled 139 others, the interior ministry said on Thursday.

The ministry did not specify if the pardoned inmates include political prisoners.

The amnesty decision comes in the context of a March presidential decree pardoning some “convicts” in celebration of Sinai Liberation Day on Apr. 25.

The presidential pardoning decree, however, was not implemented before today’s announcement.

The interior ministry added in its statement that the prison authority examined inmates' files to determine which of the prisoners are entitled to the pardoning.

The prison authority paroled 139 prisoners after a monthly committee on conditional releases convened.

Conditions for a prisoner to be paroled include having served three quarters of their sentences, demonstrating “good behaviour" while serving their sentence, and not posing danger to public security, according to the interior ministry’s website.

Earlier in June, Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi said in a televised interview that 90 per cent of those in the country's jails are imprisoned on criminal charges, not for political reasons.

Sisi added then that he "will look into the cases of the rest," referring to a remaining 10 per cent of detainees who are allegedly in prison on political charges.

Last September, Sisi pardoned 100 people including high-profile activists and journalists. Among those released then was activists Sanaa Seif and Yara Sallam and journalists Mohamed Fadel Fahmy and Baher Mohamed, who worked for the Qatari television network Al Jazeera English. 

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