Three journalists out of Egypt prison ahead of Eid al-Fitr
Three pardoned, dozens still in jails. Thousands of political prisoners still locked up after the release of the 3 from Egyptian jails
Wholly month of Ramadan indeed, the prayers of the 3 journalists happens to have gone directly to the almighty “Allah” after the leader of a journalists’ union said 3 journalists have received a presidential pardon from the Egyptian President.
Ammer Abdel-Moneim, Hany Greisha, and Essam Abdeen were the latest to walk past the prison walls on Sunday after spending almost two years in custody in separate cases
Khaled el-Bashy, deputy head of the Journalists’ Union, seen with the freed journalists in a posted images in their white jail uniforms and embracing their families in the street.
The 3 were released pending investigations on accounts of social media abuse and connection with a“terrorist group”, in an apparent reference to the Muslim Brotherhood. Egypt labelled the Brotherhood a terrorist organisation in 2013.
Their release follows the release of others; including several prominent writers and activists held behind bars for months without trial
Egyptian President El-Sis also revitalized a presidential pardon committee and assigned new members. The committee, in charge of reviewing cases of prisoners held for political crimes, was created in 2016 and had been mostly dormant in recent years.
Prominent political activist Hossam Monis also pardoned this week by the President El-Sisi. Monis ahead of Eid al-Fitr celebration. He’s been in prison serving a four-year sentence on terror charges that rights advocates deemed baseless.
Their arrests came shortly after they had discussions with political parties and opposition legislators to try and hash out how to run in the 2020 parliamentary elections.
Is the Egyptian government trying to prove others wrong, some independent spectators believe the government is trying to reach out to critics in the midst of a grinding economic crisis ignited by the Russian war on Ukraine. Thousands of political prisoners, however, are estimated to remain in Egyptian jails.
The Egyptian 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 President Hosni Mubarak.
It has also imprisoned dozens of reporters and occasionally expelled some foreign journalists. It remains among the world’s worst jailers of journalists, along with Turkey and China, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists, a US-based watchdog