The Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi pardoned 82 young people in custody on Thursday. The Egyptian Presidential Media Office said that most of those who were pardoned were university students who were arrested during protests including an Islamic Studies researcher named Islam Al-Behairy who was sentenced for criticising canonical religious works.
El-Sisi decided to form a committee to examine and review the views of young detainees at the end of the first youth conference which was held in Sharm El-Sheikh at the end of October.
The committee was formed at the beginning of November and amongst its members are the Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Free Egyptians Party Osama Al-Ghazali Harb, MP Tarek El-Khouly, Nashwa El-Houfi who is a member of the National Council for Women, Muhammad Abdul Aziz who is a member of the National Council for Human Rights and a political activist called Karim Al-Saqa.
The decision to grant the pardon was based on article 155 of the constitution which gives the president the right to pardon those who have been sentenced definitely. The decision to pardon the youth was issued after the view of the cabinet was taken into consideration.
A source at the Interior Ministry said yesterday that the prison service sector has started the necessary arrangements so that the young detainees can be released immediately. In a statement that the source made to the Middle East News Agency (MENA), the source said that the prison services sector is currently working to issue the necessary papers so that the detainees can be released in accordance with the presidential pardon.