CAIRO: President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi issued a decree to pardon prisoners on the occasion of Eid el-Fitr (Feast of Breaking the Fasting of Ramadan) and the 63rd anniversary of the July 23, 1952 revolution.
The number and names of those who will be pardoned have not been disclosed yet. The decree was published in the state’s official journal Al-Waqa’i`a al-Masriya in July 8.
For those who will be released marking the Eid el-Fitr, the decree said they should have served half the term of their final sentences by July 17. Those eligible to be released must have spent at least six months in jail. This also applies to those who are imprisoned over multiple prison sentences.
Those sentenced to life in prison will be pardoned in case they served 15 years of their total term by the same date; the released will be put under police surveillance for five years per the Penal Code.
Those who will be released on the occasion of the July 1952 Revolution must have served half their terms by July 23.
The decree added that the pardon will not be applied to certain crimes, including disrupting transportation, damaging public utilities, drugs, bribery, involvement in bombings and forgery.
Pardoning prisoners is a tradition by the state that usually takes place during official vacations and feasts.
Last month, marking the beginning of the holy month of Ramadan in which Muslims around the world fast from dawn to dusk, Sisi pardoned 165 prisoners convicted of breaching the 2013 protest law.
Similar pardon decisions have been issued during the past few months following a decree issued by Sisi in January allowing him to release prisoners who served half their jail terms, on the condition that their offences do not include violence or attacking public or police properties.