CAIRO – 28 December 2018: Facing terrorism and countering attacks was one of the top goals for Egyptian President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi during 2018. Still, this did not stop Sisi from enduring that he betters the lives of Egyptians through pardoning prisoners who have nearly finished their sentences, releasing debtors, and many more such situations.
Adding a bit of positively and love to the end of our 2018, as we embark on other great adventures in 2019, Egypt Today has put together seven top times when Sisi’s humanitarian side took over.
President 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 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 marked the first day of Eid Al-Fitr (a religious feast celebrated by Muslims worldwide, marking the end of the holy month of Ramadan.)
More than 5,000 prisoners pardoned
On December 20, the cabinet approved a presidential decree pardoning 202 prisoners on the occasion of the anniversary of Police Day and January Revolution; another 517 were released on patrole.
On December 14, 676 prisoners were released Friday, as per a presidential pardon issued on the anniversary of October 6 War.
On December 7, 640 prisoners were released after they received a presidential pardon through which their prison sentences were reduced.
On Friday, November 23, raising the total number of freed prisoners to 1,067. Later in the same month, a total of 578 prisoners have been released on Wednesday on the occasion of the 45th anniversary of October 6 victory as per decree no. 455/2018 issued by President Sisi.
A total of 716 inmates were released September 18 per August presidential pardon on the occasion of Eid El-Adha. The decision to release the prisoners on the occasion of Eid El-Adha was published earlier in the Gazette.
On September 11, 576 inmates were released Tuesday per an August presidential pardon.
On June 15, 2018, 2,110 prisoners were released per a presidential pardon, while 677 others were out on conditional release. The decision to release the prisoners on the occasion of Eid Al-Fitr 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 473 inmates qualified for release on parole. The Egyptian government frequently pardons prisoners during national celebrations.
President Sisi also pardoned About 332 prisoners in May. The pardon list included youths and prisoners with health problems.
Prisoners meet their families after being released per presidential pardon on first day of Eid Al-Fitr on June 15, 2018 - Hazim Abdel Samad/Egypt Today
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.
Opening Rafah crossing
President Sisi directed in May to take the necessary measures to keep the Rafah Border Crossing open throughout the holy month of Ramadan.
“I issued directives to take the necessary measures to keep the Rafah Border crossing open throughout the holy month of Ramadan in a bid to relieve some of the burdens suffered by our brothers in the Gaza strip,” the Egyptian leader posted on Facebook and Twitter.
On May 14, Egypt dispatched humanitarian aid, food, relief and medical supplies to Gaza while keeping the Rafah crossing open for individuals and those injured in the Israeli attacks on the strip.
Former Minister of Health Ahmed Emad Eddine said he has been "instructed by the political leadership" to receive the Palestinians injured during the Israeli aggression and treat them in Egyptian hospitals.
Egypt sends aid and medical convoys to the Palestinian people in the Gaza Strip, Tuesday, May 22 – Press photo The Rafah crossing is mainly specialized for individual movements across borders, and was being prepared for the transfer of goods between the two courtiers.
The importance of Rafah Border Crossing increased after Israeli forces destroyed Yasser Arafat International Airport in 2001; which was the only airport allowing Palestinians to travel.
Palestinians gather at the Rafah boder crossing as they wait to travel into Egypt after the passage is opened for three days for humanitarian cases, in the southern Gaza Strip April 12, 2018. / AFP / SAID KHATIB Palestinian authorities thanked Egypt for continuously opening the crossing in a statement issued February 21, stressing that the decision represents the Egyptian government’s keenness to ease the Palestinian people’s suffering.
Celebrating with martyrs’ families
Sisi attended celebrations of Eid Al-Fitr with the families of the nation's martyrs. The president welcomed the martyrs' children and families telling them he was waiting to meet them on this day.
During the celebrations, Sisi said that Egypt will not forget the martyrs' sons and daughters, adding that those martyrs laid down their lives for the sake of the homeland so that 100 million Egyptians could live in peace and security.
In many occasions along his 4-year term, President Sisi appeared hugging martyrs’ children.
Honoring a working woman
President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi met with a female minibus driver, Nehmedo Saeed on December 13, 2018, during his tour of Egypt’s New Administrative Capital.
Saeed illustrated to him that she was a driver on the Administrative Capital to Shorouk route, and asked the President if he could provide a down payment on a microbus so that she could pay the monthly installments. He accepted, gifting her the new vehicle.
The woman then appeared in “Yahdoth fi Masr” (Happening in Egypt) program in MBC Masr in which they received a call from Sisi.
In his call, Sisi stated that Egyptian women have a very high degree of pride and modesty, and are very family-oriented.
“All greetings and appreciation to Ms. Nehmedo. I salute every similar woman who works hard for her children. I always appreciate Egyptian women,” Sisi was quoted.
“Sometimes, the media presents picture contrary to reality, sometimes. I meet a lot of employees, and they do not complain about their difficult conditions and are satisfied with the economic conditions,” he continued. “Our meetings are rather a form of appreciation.”
Sisi received on Thursday, Nov. 29 the Upper Egyptian tricycle rider, Marwa el-Abd, at the Ittihadiya Palace.
Sisi hailed Abd as a model for perseverance and diligence who sets an example for young people in persistence and firmness, presidential spokesman Bassam Rady said.
On October 21, Abd, 27, called on those with compassionate hearts to help her buy a tricycle to work as she has no money to pay the rent of her home. Abed helps her sick father in raising her brothers.
FILE - President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi met with a female minibus driver, Nehmedo Saeed on Thursday, during his tour of Egypt’s New Administrative Capital.