Cairo [Egypt], August 20 (ANI): Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi has pardoned a number of prisoners, including prominent Egyptian activist Ahmed Douma, Al Jazeera reported quoting state television and lawyers.
Douma, 37, a key figure in the pro-democracy uprising that overthrew Hosni Mubarak in 2011, was sentenced to 15 years in jail in 2019 for rioting and attacking security forces, a reduction from a prior 25-year term handed out in 2015.
According to lawyer Tarek Elawady, a member of the presidential pardons committee, “President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi… has used his constitutional powers” to pardon several prisoners, including Douma.
Meanwhile, prominent human rights lawyer Khaled Ali posted on social media that he was waiting outside Badr jail on Cairo’s outskirts awaiting the activist’s release, as reported by Al Jazeera.
At the time, the judge stated Douma was part of a crowd that broke into parliament and damaged parts of it, describing them as doing the work of “devil”.
Douma, like several other prominent Egyptian activists, was imprisoned under Mubarak, the succeeding ruling military council, former President Mohamed Morsi, and el-Sisi.
The activist published a collection of poems titled “Curly” in 2021, which he wrote while being detained in solitary confinement.
The collection was displayed at the Cairo International Book Fair that year, but it was promptly removed for “security reasons.”
Douma, in one of his poems from prison wrote, “There’s no time for depression, no opportunity for sadness, the flood is raging.”
He was arrested as part of a crackdown following the military ouster of Mubarak’s successor, Mohamed Morsi, in 2013, according to Al Jazeera.
Authorities also released Egyptian rights researcher Patrick Zaki and lawyer Mohamed el-Baqer last month after el-Sisi pardoned them.
Since late 2021, Egypt has taken some steps to improve human rights, including amnesties for some prominent convicts.
According to Egyptian rights monitors, authorities have released 1,000 political prisoners with mucgh fanfare since April last year, but have imprisoned almost 3,000 more.
Egypt’s most prominent activist, Alaa Abd el-Fattah, and a slew of other detainees swept up in a decade-long crackdown on dissent, are still behind bars.
Authorities stated that the arrests were made for security reasons.
The pardon also comes months before Egypt’s presidential election in 2024.
Despite the fact that no candidates have been formally announced, the incumbent is largely expected to sit in the ensuing elections, Al Jazeera reported. (ANI)
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