President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi during the The Egyptian Family Iftar on June 5, 2018 - File photo/Presidency spokesperson
CAIRO - 15 June 2018: President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi announced Friday that he has ordered the interior ministry to release all imprisoned debtors after paying all their debts through Tahya Misr fund, asserting the importance of spending Eid al-Fitr with their families.
“We will always strive to uphold the human dignity and implement the necessary measures to preserve the social protection to reduce such phenomena that negatively affect social stability,” Sisi said on his official Facebook account on Friday.
A total of 690 debtors, as part of a presidential initiative called “Prisons with Debtors” aiming to release all debtors landing behind bars by paying off their debts ( LE 30 million= $1.685 million) through Tahya Misr (Long Live Egypt) fund. Friday marks the first day of Eid al-Fitr (a religious feast celebrated by Muslims worldwide, marking the end of the holy month of Ramadan.) Another 2,110 prisoners were released per a presidential pardon, while 677 others were out on conditional release.
Prisoners released per presidential pardon on first day of Eid al-Fitr on June 15, 2018 - Hazim Abdel Samad/Egypt Today
According to the Interior Ministry, the procedures of releasing the prisoners were finalized over the past few days.
The decision to release the prisoners on occasion of Eid al-Fitr feast was published in the Gazette last week.
In May, the Interior Ministry's prison department pardoned 447 prisoners on the occasion of Sinai Liberation Day.
The Interior Ministry said in a statement that the prison department also found that 473 inmates are qualified for release on pardon. The Egyptian government frequently pardons prisoners during national celebrations.
Also on May, President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi pardoned About 332 prisoners their freedom. The pardon list included youths and prisoners with health problems.
In October 2016, President Sisi announced the formation of a presidential pardon committee, headed by political thinker, Osama al-Ghazaly Harb, for pardoning detainees with charges pending further investigation.
In November 2016, Sisi declared the first presidential pardon list, pardoning 82 detainees, including TV presenter and religious thinker Islam al-Behery, who was charged with “contempt of Islam”.
A second pardon list was declared in March 2017, pardoning 203 detainees. The list included five journalists, according to Masrawy news outlet. In June 2017, Sisi announced pardoning 502 detainees.
On the anniversary of October 6 War, 244 Egyptian prisoners regained their freedom after receiving a pardon by a presidential decree.
Additional reporting by MENA