The Prosecutor-General issued the release of 41 pretrial detainees, including activists, on Sunday, 25 April ahead of Eid al-Fitr holiday.
The Deputy of the Human Rights Committee in the House of Representatives, Mohamed Abdel-Aziz, announced the release of a number of pretrial detainees, including journalist Mohamed Salah, economic researcher Abdou Fayed, as well as a number of political activists including Walid Shawky, Haitham al-Banna, Amr Imam, Ahmed Allam, Abdel Alim Ammar, Radwa Haloul, Abdel Rahman Bassiouni, Hamed Mohamdein, Hassan Barbary, and others.
The chairperson of the Reform and Development Party, Mohamed Anwar Esmat el-Sadat issued a statement on Sunday, stating that the activists, “had been in pretrial detention on political charges, as well as freedom of opinion and expression cases.”
Activist Walid Shawky had been detained since October 2018. He began a hunger strike in February early this year before his release on Sunday. Activist Radwa Mohamed, among those who have been released, was detained in 2019, according to her lawyer Nabeeh al-Ganadi. The Egyptian journalist Mohamed Salah was arrested in 2019 amid a crackdown between September and November 2019, during which several other journalists were detained as well.
This step comes ahead of the end Ramadan, a week before Eid al-Fitr, as part of the Presidential pardon. According to sources, the number of prisoners released this year is the highest among prisoners released in recent years.
The president of Egypt’s National Council for Human Rights (NCHR), Moushira Khattab, expressed in a statement that this upcoming period will witness further legal revisions for the conditions of pretrial detainees.
This comes in light of the National Strategy for Human Rights that was launched by President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi in September 2021 which hopes to address concerns regarding human rights to make Egypt’s public space more inclusive.