MP Tarek al-Khouly – File photo
CAIRO – 20 November 2017: The Egyptian presidential pardon committee is preparing a new pardon list, which includes detainees whose cases are not tied to terrorism or violence.
Tarek al-Khouly, MP and member of the committee said that the committee is about to finish the list and submit it to the presidency for final approval.
In October 2016, President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi announced forming a presidential pardon committee, headed by political thinker Osama al-Ghazaly Harb, for pardoning detainees with charges pending further investigation.
Following Sisi’s permission in the World Youth Conference (WYF), the committee announced preparing the fourth pardon list, according to the law.
Khouly said on November 11, that they have been working fast to finish the list, in order to prove to the whole world that the outcome of the previously held youth conferences is being executed.
Khouly said that Sisi confirmed that those who are not proven to be members of terrorist organizations or committing acts that contradict constitutional presidential pardon standards would be in the list.
Concerning pardoned detainees of the earlier three lists, Khouly said that the committee will contact ministries and specialized foundations to execute plans qualifying them to regain their freedom.
MP Mohammed al-Ghoul, deputy of the parliament's Human Rights Committee, said that the committee receives pardon petitions from detainees’ families, and that they plan to send them after revision to the presidential committee.
National Council for Human Rights’ (NCHR) member Salah Sallam stressed on the necessity of qualifying detainees during their detention periods. Sallam suggested teaching detainees’ skills including carpentry, agriculture, and poultry farming.
In September 2015, Sisi issued a decree pardoning 100 youth detainees including political activist Sanaa Seif and human rights activist Yara Sallam, who were detained on charges including violating Protest Law issued in 2013.
In November 2016, Sisi declared the first presidential pardon list, pardoning 82 detainees including TV presenter and religious thinker Islam al-Behery on charge of “contempt of Islam.”
A second pardon list was declared last March, pardoning 203 detainees. The list included five journalists, according to Masrawy.
In June, Sisi announced pardoning 502 detainees, including the 175 detainees who represented the third list of pardon.
In September, Human Rights Watch (HRW) published a report accusing Egyptian police of torturing political detainees. The report claimed to have interviewed a number of detainees who were tortured from 2014 to 2016.
Diaa Rashwan, chairperson of the State Information Service (SIS) said that accusations in the HRW report are mere impressions without empirical evidence, describing the organization's reports as professionally flawed.
In an interview with France 24, Sisi denied the presence of any political detainees or political prisons in Egypt. “All legal procedures are considered and fair judgments are rendered to all defendants according to the law,” said Sisi.