Human rights lawyer, politician, and former parliamentarian Zeyad El-Elaimy was released from prison on Monday, 24 October after three years’ imprisonment, as part of the ongoing Presidential Pardon Committee.
El-Elaimy, who served as a member of parliament representing the Egyptian Social Democratic Party in the 2012 parliament, was arrested in June 2019, in a case known in the media as the ‘Hope Cell’ to “disrupt the national economy.” He was sentenced to five years in prison in November 2021 for spreading false news on social media among other charges.
Over the time of his imprisonment, activists from around the world called on the Egyptian authorities to release El-Elaimy and drop all the charges against him.
According to a statement by Tarek El-Khouly, member of the Presidential Pardon Committee, “Al-Sisi issues decree 510 of 2022 for pardoning El-Elaimy in response to appeals and calls by political parties and forces, including the he Coordination Committee of Parties’ Youth and Politicians (CPYP), and the Presidential Pardon Committee.
Earlier this year, the committee pardoned political activist and Karama Party member Hossam Mo’nes and journalist Hisham Fouad, who were convicted in the same case.
This step also comes after the release of a number of prisoners, including the release of 41 pretrial detainees in April 2022.
The number of prisoners released this year is the highest in recent years, with a total of 1,040 released pretrial detainees and 12 pardoned prisoners.
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.