FILE - Minister of Interior Mahmoud Tawfik
CAIRO - 22 October 2018: Between Sep.6, 2014 and Oct.6, 2018, 15,960 poor indebted prisoners were released after their debts were paid back by Tahya Misr Fund upon the orders of President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi, 46,655 were pardoned, and 54,361 received conditional release (remain under observation for a designated period of time).
The figures were announced by Deputy Minister of Interior for Prisons Sector Zakaria El Ghamry in the 2nd Egyptian Prisons Forum on Oct.21. The official said that the release of that number of former prisoners contributed in improving the capacity of prisons, and the healthcare provided for prisoners.
al-Ghamry said that the rehabilitation of prisoners is embodied in training them to work in farms, factories, and various projects which are expanded by the ministry to accommodate all prisoners. He added that the ministry has also established two new hospitals in prisons, and introduced new cells designed for disabled prisoners.
The Ministry of Health and Population have been conducting Hepatitis C census among prisoners. In addition, the Ministry of Interior is working on signing a protocol with Anti-drug and Addiction Treatment Fund to treat those who got jailed for drug use.
On 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.