Prominent Egyptian activist freed after presidential pardon

Apr 27, 2022, 8:17 PM | Updated: Apr 28, 2022, 8:45 am

CAIRO (AP) — Egyptian authorities on Thursday released a prominent political activist serving a four-year-sentence on terror charges that rights advocate have deemed baseless.

Hossam Monis’ freeing came on the heels of the release of several high-profile detainees, days before the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, which is typically a time of amnesty. It followed a pardon by President Abdel Fattah el-Sissi on Wednesday.

Following the news, images of Monis hugging friends and family outside the prison walls flooded social media.

Prominent film director Khaled Youssef posted a photograph of himself and former presidential candidate Hamdeen Sabahi with Monis as soon as he walked free. Opposition leader Khaled Dawoud wrote on his Facebook page that Monis got into a car with his mother and headed home after his release.

Monis was arrested in June 2019, along with seven other people, including Zyad el-Elaimy, a former lawmaker, and key secular activists in the country’s 2011 uprising. Their arrests came shortly after they had met with political parties and opposition lawmakers to try and hash out how to run in the 2020 parliamentary elections.

Last year, the Misdemeanors State Security Emergency Court in Cairo found Monis and other defendants guilty of conspiring to commit crimes with an outlawed group. That’s a reference to the Muslim Brotherhood, which Egypt has banned as a terrorist organization.

Monis and Hisham Fouad, another activist and journalist, were sentenced to four years in prison each while El-Elaimy received a five-year sentence.

The verdicts stirred outrage from local and international human rights groups. Both El-Elaimy and Fouad remain behind bars.

El-Sissi on Wednesday passed a decree granting Monis amnesty, a few hours after he had reactivated the Presidential Pardon Committee and appointed new members. The committee, in charge of reviewing cases of prisoners held for political crimes, has been quite ineffective since its creation in 2016.

On Sunday, authorities freed 41 detainees — including several prominent writers and activists — who had been held without a trial date.

Some independent observers believe the government is trying to reach out to the political opposition in the midst of a grinding economic crisis sparked by the Russian war on Ukraine. Thousands of political prisoners, however, are estimated to remain in Egyptian jails.

El-Sissi’s government has in recent years waged a wide-scale crackdown on dissent, jailing thousands of people, mainly Islamists, but also secular activists involved in the 2011 Arab Spring uprising that toppled longtime autocrat Hosni Mubarak.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Photo from Flickr...
Associated Press

Respite center opens to families of those who died in combat

A respite center for families in the United States who have lost loved ones in combat since 9/11 will open Friday on Washington state’s Olympic Peninsula.
13 hours ago
Downtown Vancouver Washington Photo from Flickr...
Associated Press

Vancouver City Council bans large fossil fuel facilities

The city council in Vancouver, Washington, has approved a permanent ban on new fossil fuel developments after years of temporary moratoriums.
13 hours ago
Associated Press

Closing prices for crude oil, gold and other commodities

Benchmark U.S. crude oil for November delivery rose 69 cents to $88.45 a barrel Thursday. Brent crude for December delivery rose $1.05 to $94.42 a barrel. Wholesale gasoline for November delivery rose 1 cent to $2.68 a gallon. November heating oil rose 17 cents to $3.86 a gallon. November natural gas rose 4 cents to […]
13 hours ago
FILE - Democratic State Sen. Natalie Murdock, of Durham County, and state Rep. Julie von Haefen, of...
Associated Press

Planned Parenthood pours $5M into vital North Carolina races

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Planned Parenthood’s political arm announced a $5 million investment Thursday in North Carolina’s battleground races as Democrats fight to preserve the governor’s veto power in one of the last abortion access points in the Southeast. Just 32 days from Election Day, with absentee voting now underway, Planned Parenthood Votes and Planned […]
13 hours ago
President Joe Biden boards Air Force One at Andrews Air Force Base, Md., Thursday, Oct. 6, 2022, to...
Associated Press

Biden pardons thousands for ‘simple possession’ of marijuana

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden is pardoning thousands of Americans convicted of “simple possession” of marijuana, as his administration takes a dramatic step toward decriminalizing the drug and addressing charging practices that disproportionately impact people of color. He is also calling on governors to issue similar pardons for those convicted of state marijuana offenses, […]
13 hours ago
People protest against alleged election fraud in a general elections in the Bosnian town of Banja L...
Associated Press

Protesters allege pro-Russia Bosnian Serb leader rigged vote

SARAJEVO, Bosnia (AP) — Several thousand people in Bosnia joined an opposition protest Thursday against a result in the country’s general election last weekend, alleging a pro-Russia Bosnian Serb leader rigged the vote to win the position he sought. Chanting slogans against Bosnian Serb leader Milorad Dodik, the protesters blocked traffic in central Banja Luka, […]
2 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Anacortes Christmas Tree...

Come one, come all! Food, Drink, and Coastal Christmas – Anacortes has it all!

Come celebrate Anacortes’ 11th annual Bier on the Pier! Bier on the Pier takes place on October 7th and 8th and features local ciders, food trucks and live music - not to mention the beautiful views of the Guemes Channel and backdrop of downtown Anacortes.
Swedish Cyberknife Treatment...

The revolutionary treatment of Swedish CyberKnife provides better quality of life for majority of patients

There are a wide variety of treatments options available for men with prostate cancer. One of the most technologically advanced treatment options in the Pacific Northwest is Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy using the CyberKnife platform at Swedish Medical Center.
Work at Zum Services...

Seattle Public Schools announces three-year contract with Zum

Seattle Public Schools just announced a three-year contract with a brand-new company to the Pacific Northwest to assist with their student transportation: Zum.
Swedish Cyberknife 900x506...

June is Men’s Health Month: Here’s Why It’s Important To Speak About Your Health

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, men in the United States, on average, die five years earlier than women.

Anacortes – A Must Visit Summertime Destination

While Anacortes is certainly on the way to the San Juan Islands (SJI), it is not just a destination to get to the ferry… Anacortes is a destination in and of itself!

Ready for your 2022 Alaskan Adventure with Celebrity Cruises?

Celebrity Cruises SPONSORED — A round-trip Alaska cruise from Seattle is an amazing treat for you and a loved one. Not only are you able to see and explore some of the most incredible and visually appealing natural sights on the planet, but you’re also able to relax and re-energize while aboard a luxury cruise […]
Prominent Egyptian activist freed after presidential pardon