FILE - Pardoned prisoners in Egypt
CAIRO - 23 May 2019: The Prison Sector at the Ministry of Interior released on Thursday 324 convicts who received presidential pardons granted on the occasion of Sinai Liberation Day, on April 25. Of those, 262 received a conditional release.
The presidential pardon No. 232/2019, concerning the release of some inmates after serving part of their sentences, was issued a week ago. One of the inmates is journalist Abdel Halim Qandil who was sentenced in 2017 to 3 years for insulting Egypt’s judiciary.
On March 14, a total of 413 inmates were released and another group of 620 prisoners was also released on February 28.
According to article 155 of the constitution, the president is allowed to issue pardons only after a final ruling is issued.
In October 2016, President Abdel Fatah al-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.
Presidential pardons are customary to national and religious occasions. However, the perpetrators of certain crimes are not eligible for pardon. These crimes comprise arms trafficking, terrorism, drug trafficking of more than 10 kilograms, heroin trade regardless of the quantity, and revenge killing.