Egypt's President Sisi pardons 560 prisoners

CAIRO (Reuters) - Egypt's President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi has pardoned 560 prisoners, the majority of whom were accused of supporting the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood, two judicial sources said on Friday. Of those pardoned, 482 were imprisoned on charges related to the Brotherhood, a decades-old Islamist political movement with a mass following, the sources said

Reuters May 18, 2019 00:07:04 IST
Egypt's President Sisi pardons 560 prisoners

Egypts President Sisi pardons 560 prisoners

CAIRO (Reuters) - Egypt's President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi has pardoned 560 prisoners, the majority of whom were accused of supporting the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood, two judicial sources said on Friday.

Of those pardoned, 482 were imprisoned on charges related to the Brotherhood, a decades-old Islamist political movement with a mass following, the sources said.

A prominent journalist, Abdel Halim Qandil, who was sentenced in 2017 to three years in prison on charges of insulting the judiciary, was also pardoned.

The pardoned prisoners also included two women who organised demonstrations outside metro stations last year after fare hikes.

The prisoners are expected to be released on Friday. The pardons were announced in the official gazette late on Thursday.

The Brotherhood won the first free elections after the 2011 uprising that ended autocrat Hosni Mubarak’s 30-year rule, but was toppled by the army after a year in power.

Since then, the group has been banned and hundreds of its followers have been jailed. The Brotherhood says it is a non-violent movement and denies any relationship to violent insurgencies waged by al Qaeda and Islamic State militants.

Rights activists say Sisi has overseen a relentless crackdown on dissent in Egypt since 2014. At least 60,000 people have been jailed on political grounds, according to a Human Rights Watch estimate.

Sisi has denied holding political prisoners and his backers say the measures were necessary to stabilize Egypt after its 2011 uprising.

(Reporting by Ahmed Mohamed Hassan and Mohamed Wali; Writing by Lena Masri, Editing by William Maclean)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

Updated Date:

TAGS:

also read

France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State - sources
| Reuters
World

France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State - sources | Reuters

By Robin Emmott and John Irish | BRUSSELS/PARIS BRUSSELS/PARIS France and Germany will agree to a U.S. plan for NATO to take a bigger role in the fight against Islamic militants at a meeting with President Donald Trump on Thursday, but insist the move is purely symbolic, four senior European diplomats said.The decision to allow the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to join the coalition against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq follows weeks of pressure on the two allies, who are wary of NATO confronting Russia in Syria and of alienating Arab countries who see NATO as pushing a pro-Western agenda."NATO as an institution will join the coalition," said one senior diplomat involved in the discussions. "The question is whether this just a symbolic gesture to the United States

China's Xi says navy should become world class
| Reuters
World

China's Xi says navy should become world class | Reuters

BEIJING Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday called for greater efforts to make the country's navy a world class one, strong in operations on, below and above the surface, as it steps up its ability to project power far from its shores.China's navy has taken an increasingly prominent role in recent months, with a rising star admiral taking command, its first aircraft carrier sailing around self-ruled Taiwan and a new aircraft carrier launched last month.With President Donald Trump promising a US shipbuilding spree and unnerving Beijing with his unpredictable approach on hot button issues including Taiwan and the South and East China Seas, China is pushing to narrow the gap with the U.S. Navy.Inspecting navy headquarters, Xi said the navy should "aim for the top ranks in the world", the Defence Ministry said in a statement about his visit."Building a strong and modern navy is an important mark of a top ranking global military," the ministry paraphrased Xi as saying.