Egypt to release hundreds of prisoners for Ramadan 'including Muslim Brotherhood members': report

Egypt to release hundreds of prisoners for Ramadan 'including Muslim Brotherhood members': report
Egyptian authorities will release 1,686 prisoners to mark Ramadan, including members of the banned Muslim Brotherhood movement, according to reports.
2 min read
22 April, 2021
Egypt has detained thousands of political opponents since a 2013 military coup [Getty]

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi has issued a decree announcing the release of 1,686 prisoners to mark the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan, the Egyptian official gazette said on Tuesday.

Most of those earmarked for release were convicted of common criminal offences but some political detainees will also be included, The New Arab’s Arabic-language service quoted Egyptian security sources as saying.

Sources within the Muslim Brotherhood also told the Turkish Anadolu news agency that dozens of members of the outlawed group may be released in Egypt's second largest city, Alexandria.

"They have not been released yet - they may be released or they may be detained again with new cases being brought against them, and this will be clarified in the coming hours," the anonymous Brotherhood sources told Anadolu’s Arabic edition.

President Abdel Fatah Al-Sisi led a coup against Egypt's first democratically-elected leader, Mohammed Morsi, a member of the Muslim Brotherhood, in June 2013.

The Muslim Brotherhood was outlawed a few months afterwards and thousands of its members were arrested and jailed, along with secular opposition and pro-democracy activists.

Morsi was arrested immediately after the coup and died during a court appearance in 2019 after nearly six years in detention, following reports by human rights groups that his health was being deliberately neglected.

Mohammed Badie, the movement’s 78-year-old leader, remains in prison.

On Monday, Egyptian authorities released prominent dissident journalist Magdi Ahmed Hussein after he spent seven years in detention on political charges. Egyptian authorities have released a total of seven journalists in recent weeks, although many others languish in jail.

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