WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Tahrir Institute for Middle East Policy (TIMEP) welcomes today’s presidential pardon of 100 Egyptian prisoners. The pardon corresponds with the observance of the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Adha and comes a day ahead of President Abdel-Fattah El Sisi’s visit to New York, where he is scheduled to attend the United Nations General Assembly. Prominent among those pardoned are Al Jazeera journalists Baher Mohamed and Mohamed Fahmy, as well as activists Sanaa Seif and Yara Sallam.
“It is very promising to see those who were wrongfully accused and unjustly detained released from prison,” said TIMEP Executive Director Nancy Okail. “But for this to have any meaningful value, it should be a prelude to serious, systemic reforms advancing the rule of law, and should be followed by dropping the specious charges against numerous other individuals unjustly detained in Egyptian prisons.”
TIMEP applauds the Egyptian government’s release of the 100 prisoners, but highlights that the pardon is merely a correction to an intrinsically flawed judicial system. TIMEP again calls upon the Egyptian government to uphold its international and constitutional obligations to protect basic civil liberties and due process rights. Egypt should take steps toward a system that restores the rule of law and provides access to fair and swift justice for all of its citizens.
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The Tahrir Institute for Middle East Policy (TIMEP) is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization dedicated to raising awareness of democratic transitions in the Middle East through analysis, advocacy, and action.