Egypt 'to release political prisoners' who renounce government opposition
A number of imprisoned supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood and others opposing the 2013 military coup in Egypt have revealed that prison authorities are encouraging prisoners to renounce opposition to the regime in exchange for their eventual release.
The document leaked by some prisoners through their relatives and lawyers states: "I (...) who has been detained for (...) case, in (...) events, pledge that I have not taken part in any violence and do not belong to the Muslim Brotherhood and I want to reconcile with the current government, and I want the prison administration to convey this message to the relevant authorities."
|Most Muslim Brotherhood prisoners refused to sign and were waiting for the Brotherhood's official position on the document.|
A prisoner who contacted al-Araby al-Jadeed from within one of Cairo's prisons explained the prison administration gave the document to young prisoners from the Brotherhood and to prisoners affiliated with other opposition parties.
The prisoner said some prisoners had signed the document, but the majority of Muslim Brotherhood prisoners had refused to sign and were waiting for the Brotherhood's official position on the document.
A source in the Strong Egypt Party said the party was using the forthcoming parliamentary elections to pressure the government to release party members arrested after the massacres of Rabaa al-Adawiya and al-Nahda Square.
News of the prisoners' reconciliation document comes amid reported pressure on the Egyptian government to release the thousands of dissidents, political activists and ordinary citizens opposed to the regime who have been detained since the July 2013 military takeover.
The reconciliation document currently being used by the Interior Ministry is understood to be a repeat of the "support" forms that were given to Muslim Brotherhood prisoners by security services during the eras of Hosni Mubarak and Gamal Abdel Nasser.
This is an edited translation from our Arabic edition.