Egypt frees 28 pretrial detainees including two journalists

Egypt frees 28 pretrial detainees including two journalists
One of the prisoners, Salah El-Imam, had suffered medical negligence while in detention.
1 min read
21 September, 2022
Egypt has jailed tens of thousands of government opponents since a 2013 military coup [Getty]

Egypt’s Presidential Pardon Committee (PPC) announced the release of 28 detainees held without trial on Tuesday, including journalists Salah El-Imam and Magdy Attia.

El-Imam was arrested in September 2021 and accused of spreading false news. Suffering from chronic illnesses including diabetes and polio, the journalist had reportedly been exposed to medical negligence whilst in detention.

News of his upcoming release followed a Cairo court's decision weeks ago to extend his prison sentence for another 45 days, pending investigations.

Several dozen pretrial detainees have been freed in recent months since the work of the PPC started in May.

Egypt's prolific jailing of activists, many on charges of "spreading false news", is regularly condemned by rights groups. 

Unofficial estimates from Egyptian human rights organisations indicate that there are about 114,000 political prisoners in Egypt - more than double the official prison capacity in the country.

High-profile prisoners include Alaa Abdel-Fattah, who has been on a hunger strike for months to protest his detention.

Many prisoners have suffered torture, abuse, and medical neglect during their incarceration.