Thu, 19 Jan 2023 - 06:20 GMT
Thu, 19 Jan 2023 - 06:20 GMT
CAIRO – 19 January 2023: Egypt has been exerting huge efforts recently in the rehabilitation and integration process of released prisoners in accordance with President Abdel Fattah al Sisi directions.
These efforts in particularly to ease the released prisoners’ life and reduce the financial and social pressures they face as a result of being former prisoner stigma.
In April 2022, President Abdel Fattah al Sisi ordered the reactivation of the Presidential Pardon Committee, in parallel with his call to launch a national dialogue on various political, economic and societal issues in the country.
Supporting 200 released prisoners
As a result, the pace of the release of hundreds of pre-trial detainees in relation to a number of political cases accelerated under presidential amnesty decisions, a step that was praised inside Egypt from the political community and internationally.
Egypt’s Coordination's Committee of Party's Youth Leaders and Politicians [CPYP] was one of the entities that participated in the expired efforts towards those pardoned prisoners
Since last September, efforts led by CPYP have begun by creating a committee called the ‘Integration and Rehabilitation’ committee which included several politicians and parliament members to communicate with those recently-released-prisoners to provide all aspects of support and help.
CPYP announced that it aims to help integrating more than 200 released prisoners during the coming three months, and to work with then to achieve their basic needs in different aspects of their lives.
It also sought to overcome the legal and procedural obstacles facing the released prisoners, especially with regard to the legal and professional position, in addition to providing new job opportunities, while focusing on providing psychological support through periodic sessions with specialists.
Recently, CPYP held several workshops to discuss the challenges facing political-prisoners who were released recently.
Based on these discussions that was attended by several political figures, the work shops reached several recommendations to improve the released prisoners’ lives, including:
Establishing a fund for released prisoners needs, along with establishing a specialized entity that works to organize the rehabilitation and integration of the prisoners.Allocate financial rewards for the private sector to employ the released detainees.Make especial home visits to the released prisoners to follow up with their needs.
More than 1,200 prisoners released
Regarding the total numbers of those recently released, Mohamed Abdel Aziz, CPYP and a Presidential Pardon Committee member explained that the number of those released since last April exceeded 1,200.
He added that the committee, “works continuously to prepare and examine lists of new batches for the prisoners to be released.”
Egypt has done it before
Tarek Fahmy, professor of political science at Cairo University, said in statements that Egypt has previously worked on the integration and rehabilitation of newly released prisoners, “most notably the integration and rehabilitation of the elements of the Islamic in the 90s of the last century.”
He added, "There are great efforts being made, motivated by the presidential directive, to accelerate the pace of prisoners release in accordance with the law,”
“In this regard, we must know two different things, firstly is that the state is not solely responsible for efforts to reintegrate and rehabilitate the released prisoners as it is necessary for civil society organizations and businessmen to play an active and major role in this process.” Fahmy said.
He added that secondly, “We must find new mechanisms based on our past experience to achieve our goal without being a burden to the state’s budget.”
"He helped me, after losing all hope"
One of the released prisoners who prepared not to reveal his name told his story to be reintegrated in the society after spending about 3 years in prison on charges of joining a terrorist group and possessing publications against state institutions since late September 2019.
“After I was released from prison with a presidential pardon, I lost hope of returning to my work, as I was working in an oil company as a general manager” the released prisoner said.
He added that even some of his family members were worried on their reputation so they “preferred not to communicate with him”
He said that one day, one of the CPYP members communicated with him, and asked for a meeting in which he explained everything he suffered from.
“He helped me a lot, and even managed to make me return to my old job after I lost hope in everything.”
“He even helped me to receive the psychological therapy I need to recover from post-traumatic stress disorder.”
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