75 debtors to leave prison Thursday in coordination with civil society: Egyptian pardon committee member



Wed, 06 Jul 2022 - 12:00 GMT


Wed, 06 Jul 2022 - 12:00 GMT

CAIRO – 6 July 2022: A first batch of imprisoned debtors in Egypt, comprising 75 men and women, will leave prison on Thursday, Tarek El-Khouli, a member of the Presidential Pardon Committee member said.

In a tweet on Wednesday, Lawyer Khouli, a member of the House of Representatives’ Foreign Relations Committee, said that this comes in coordination with civil society organizations.

Late in June, Egyptian Presidential Pardon Committee member Tarek El-Awadi said a new list including a batch of prisoners of conscience will be released within days on the occasion of the 30 June Revolution.

He added that another batch of prisoners will be also released ahead of Eid Al-Adha, which falls on 9 July this year.

The Presidential Pardon Committee, formed in 2016 and reactivated by President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi in April, aims to release young prisoners of conscience and reintegrate them into society.

Over the past weeks, many prisoners have been released since the committee has been activated.

Khouli has explained to Egypt Today the criteria that the recently revived committee’s work is based on to prepare pardon lists.

“Our work while preparing the pardon lists and choosing names conform to two criteria; first, they must not be part of a terrorist group and second, they must not have engaged in violence and bloodshed crimes,” Khouli said.

He added that all those who do meet these criteria have the chance of being included in the pardon lists.

Khouli affirmed that the committee receives pardon requests via many avenues, including through the National Council for Human Rights (NCHR) and the human rights committees of the House of Representatives and Senate.

In addition, the committee receives pardon requests through the National Youth Conference website, Khouli added.

The committee not only works to prepare pardon lists, it also seeks to reintegrate them into society.

“We work on making sure that those who were dismissed from their work are back to their workplace and students who were dismissed from universities are back to them,” Khouli added.

The committee’s work will also extend to include the male and female indebted prisoners during the coming period, the parliamentarian added.

Besides reviving the pardon committee, Sisi also called for a national political dialogue that includes all parties “without exception or discrimination” a step that has been widely hailed by activists and political parties.

The dialogue started its first session in July with Head of Journalists Syndicate Diaa Rashwan as general coordinator with ambitions to reach a common ground between the state and the opposition.

In September, Sisi declared 2022 as the year of the civil society and launched the National Strategy for Human Rights as the first of its kind in Egypt.



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