FILE - Pardoned prisoners
CAIRO - 20 July 2019: The Prisons Sector at the Ministry of Interior freed on Friday 365 convicts who were granted presidential pardons after serving part of their sentences. Of those, 175 were given conditional release.
Those were selected by a committee in charge of examining the eligibility of prisoners to pardon and release. The selection of this batch is assumed upon presidential decree no. 269/20019 issued in the occasion of Eid el-Fitr two months ago.
Presidential pardons are customary to national and religious occasions. However, the perpetrators of certain crimes are not eligible for pardon. These crimes comprise arms trafficking, terrorism, drug trafficking of more than 10 kilograms, “heroin” trade regardless of the quantity, and revenge killing.
According to article 155 of the constitution, the president is allowed to issue pardons only after a final ruling is issued.
The Prisons Sector at the Ministry of Interior released in May 324 convicts who received presidential pardons granted in the occasion of Sinai Liberation Day, which was on April 25. Of those, 262 received a conditional release. One of the inmates freed in that batch is journalist Abdel Halim Qandil who was sentenced in 2017 to three years for insulting Egypt’s judiciary.
On March 14, a total of 413 convicts were released and another group of 620 prisoners was also released on February 28.