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Egypt Frees 60 More Pretrial Detainees

 


Egyptian authorities, as announced by prominent human rights lawyer Khaled Ali, released 60 pretrial detainees on Saturday pending investigations in cases related to the dissemination of false information and the misuse of social media.

Khaled El-Balshy, the Head of Egypt's Journalists Syndicate, confirmed that several journalists and content creators were among those released. These individuals had been arrested on charges such as spreading misinformation, misusing social media, inciting gatherings, and alleged involvement with a terrorist group.

One of the released detainees, journalist Donia Samir, had been arrested in May 2022 and was recommended for release by the Journalists Syndicate to the Prosecutor General and the Presidential Pardon Committee.

The Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights (EIPR) reported that four content creators, including Mohamed Hossam El-Din Hussein, Ahmed El-Khouly, Basma Samir, and Ziad Fathi Ramadan, were released pending investigation. They had been arrested in January 2023 for creating a satirical video called "The Visit," depicting a woman visiting her boyfriend in prison.

The Association for Freedom of Thought and Expression (ATFE) stated that the list of released pretrial detainees also included four students arrested in August 2022 for creating a Facebook event titled "Batman Helwan." These students are Mohamed Zahran, Karim Refaat, Mazen Reda, and Eslam Nagdy.

Human rights activists reported that Mohamed Abdel-Latif, a member of the Zamalek Sports Club's Ultras fan group who had been arrested in August 2021 on charges of joining a terrorist organization and spreading false information, was also released.

Khaled El-Balshy renewed his call for the release of the remaining detained journalists.

Since April 2022, the Public Prosecution in Egypt has released numerous pretrial detainees as part of the government's efforts to engage in a national dialogue with opposition groups and civil society. President El-Sisi has also issued pardons for high-profile activists who had received final verdicts in various cases.

The Presidential Pardon Committee, reactivated in April 2022, reviews the cases of pretrial detainees and others who meet specific criteria. It considers appeals from various entities and receives requests through its website, working towards addressing concerns related to detainees' rights and releases.

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