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Egypt Releases 5 Prominent Opposition Figures

Egypt Releases 5 Prominent Opposition Figures

Wednesday, 22 May, 2019 - 11:45
Participants attend a court session for Muslim Brotherhood members, in Cairo, Egypt, December 26, 2018. (Reuters)
Cairo- Asharq Al-Awsat

Egyptian politicians and rights activists welcomed the top prosecutor’s order to release five prominent opposition figures who have been held since August, including former ambassador Masoum Marzouk, hoping the authorities will release others soon.

Local media outlets announced that the released detainees include: economist Raed Salama, academic Yahia Qazzaz, activists Abdelfattah el-Banna, and Nermin Hassan. They were all arrested in August and held on charges of “aiding a terrorist group to achieve its goals, receiving funding with terrorist intent and participating in a criminal agreement with the purpose of committing a terrorist crime.”

In September, the Criminal Court of North Cairo upheld the Attorney-General’s decision to freeze the detainees’ assets, and for nine months, public prosecution issued sentences in their cases.

Member of the National Council for Human Rights Nasser Amin said the detention of the prisoners was a mistake that requires the state's apology and compensation.

Hafez Abu Saada, also member of the Council, welcomed the release of Ambassador Marzouk and his colleagues, hoping all other political prisoners will be released as well.

Politically, Reform and Development Party expressed its support for the prosecution's decision to release the dissidents, saying it came following President Abdul-Fattah el-Sisi's pardon to release some young detainees sentenced in various political cases over the past period.

The party considered the presidential release and pardon for young people, activists, and political prisoners a step that should be followed by others in the issues of freedoms and political reform.

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