Egypt’s Ministry of Interior announced on Monday that 859 prisoners have been pardoned to mark Sinai Liberation Day.
In a statement, the Ministry said that the decision comes after a Presidential decree issued to pardon convicted individuals.
It remains unclear which crimes were covered in the pardon and whether any individuals involved in political activity have been released. The Ministry of Interior is yet to release a names list of the 859 individuals.
The pardon comes as protests had been planned to demonstrate Egypt’s recent decision to declare the Red Sea islands of Tiran and Sanafir as Saudi Arabian. As of noon in Egypt, demonstrators had failed to gather despite momentum on social media.
However, Egypt’s police have been out in force, with reports of some arrests in the lead up to the demonstrations. Earlier this week, at least 17 people were arrested in Downtown Cairo during late night and early morning raids, reportedly for planning to participate in demonstrations.
Sinai Liberation Day marks the day in 1982 Israeli forces withdrew from the Sinai Peninsula per a peace treaty signed between Egypt and Israel.