Egypt orders release of 46 detainees in latest pardons

Sep 14, 2022, 10:27 PM | Updated: Sep 15, 2022, 10:32 am

CAIRO (AP) — Egyptian authorities announced Thursday the release of 46 detainees, including a prominent human rights lawyer, the latest to be freed from jail amid intensifying international attention.

Tarik el-Awady, a member of Egypt’s presidential pardon committee, confirmed the release of the lawyer, Haitham Mohamadein, and the other 45 detainees, all of whom are awaiting trial. Several pictures of the freed lawyer alongside friends and family were later shared by activists on social media. It remained unclear if other detainees had walked free yet.

Egypt has pardoned dozens of detainees in past months as its human rights record comes under international scrutiny ahead of it hosting the U.N. climate change summit in November. The government of President Abdel Fattah el-Sissi — a U.S. ally with deep economic ties to European countries — has been relentlessly silencing dissenters and clamping down on independent organizations for years with arrests, detentions and prison sentences, and other restrictions.

In April, Egypt released more than three dozen detainees before the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, typically a time when prisoners are released on presidential pardons. In June, el-Sissi initiated a national dialogue with opposition parties and government critics.

However, thousands of political prisoners are estimated by rights groups to remain in custody in Egypt, many without trial. Egypt is among the world’s worst jailers of journalists, along with Turkey and China, according to 2021 data produced by the U.S.-based Committee to Protect Journalists. Last week, authorities charged four journalists from one of the country’s few remaining independent news outlets, Mada Masr, with spreading false news and disturbing public peace, the news website said in a statement.

According to the state-owned media outlet Al-Ahram, Mohamadein was arrested in May 2019 and charged with crimes related to ‘spreading false news and joining an illegal group — a reference to the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood. Those are typical charges for detainees and political activists who oppose the government.

Many of the major activists involved in Egypt’s 2011 popular uprising remain behind bars, most of them arrested under a 2013 draconian law that effectively bans all street protests.

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


OpenAI CEO Sam Altman speaks in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, Tuesday, June 6, 2023. Altman on T...

Associated Press

OpenAI CEO suggests international agency like UN’s nuclear watchdog could oversee AI

Artificial intelligence poses an “existential risk” to humanity, a key innovator warned during a visit to the United Arab Emirates

13 hours ago

Mt. Rainier death...

Associated Press

Missing Mount Rainier climber’s body found in crevasse; he was celebrating 80th birthday

Search crews on Mount Rainier have found the body of a man matching the description of an 80-year-old solo climber reported missing

2 days ago

Washington gun restrictions...

Associated Press

Judge rejects attempt to block new Washington state gun restrictions

A federal judge on Tuesday rejected a request to block a new Washington state law banning the sale of certain semi-automatic rifles

3 days ago

FILE - A man walks past a Microsoft sign set up for the Microsoft BUILD conference, April 28, 2015,...

Associated Press

Microsoft will pay $20M to settle U.S. charges of illegally collecting children’s data

Microsoft will pay a fine of $20 million to settle Federal Trade Commission charges that it illegally collected and retained the data of children

3 days ago

FILE - OpenAI's CEO Sam Altman gestures while speaking at University College London as part of his ...

Associated Press

OpenAI boss ‘heartened’ by talks with world leaders over will to contain AI risks

OpenAI CEO Sam Altman said Monday he was encouraged by a desire shown by world leaders to contain any risks posed by the artificial intelligence technology his company and others are developing.

4 days ago

FILE - The draft of a bill that President Joe Biden and House Speaker Kevin McCarthy of Calif., neg...

Associated Press

Debt deal imposes new work requirements for food aid and that frustrates many Democrats

Democrats are deeply conflicted about the debt ceiling deal, fearing damage has been done to safety net programs

5 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Innovative Education...

The Power of an Innovative Education

Parents and students in Washington state have the power to reimagine the K-12 educational experience through Insight School of Washington.

Medicare fraud...

If you’re on Medicare, you can help stop fraud!

Fraud costs Medicare an estimated $60 billion each year and ultimately raises the cost of health care for everyone.

Men's Health Month...

Men’s Health Month: Why It’s Important to Speak About Your Health

June is Men’s Health Month, with the goal to raise awareness about men’s health and to encourage men to speak about their health.

Internet Washington...

Major Internet Upgrade and Expansion Planned This Year in Washington State

Comcast is investing $280 million this year to offer multi-gigabit Internet speeds to more than four million locations.

Compassion International...

Brock Huard and Friends Rally Around The Fight for First Campaign

Professional athletes are teaming up to prevent infant mortality and empower women at risk in communities facing severe poverty.

Emergency Preparedness...

Prepare for the next disaster at the Emergency Preparedness Conference

Being prepared before the next emergency arrives is key to preserving businesses and organizations of many kinds.

Egypt orders release of 46 detainees in latest pardons