CAIRO: Eighty-three debt prisoners have been released Wednesday ahead of Eid al-Fitr after the Interior Ministry and the presidency settled their debts, Youm7 reported.
Egypt’s prison authority, which operates under the auspices of the Interior Ministry, released a group of 41 debt prisoners after a group of police officers paid off their debts, the ministry said in a statement Wednesday.
On a Facebook page, a police officer called for collecting Zakat al-Fitr (charity paid for the poor) from his colleagues to help release those who were jailed for failing to pay off their debts.
According to “Egypt without Women Debtors;” an initiative sponsored by President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi, a group of 42 imprisoned women debtors are to be released Thursday.
A Wednesday presidential statement said the women, currently imprisoned at the Qanater women’s prison, 22 kilometers north of Cairo, will be released a day before the Eid al-Fitr; an Islamic feast celebrated by Muslims worldwide following the Holy Month of Ramadan.
This is the second batch women debtors to be released pre the Presidential initiative. On Feb. 7, 41 women debtors were released from a prison in Upper Egypt’s governorate of Minya.
Sisi’ initiative has paid debts of 84 women since May 2015, presidential consultant for social development Randa Rezq told Youm 7 on June 2.
As of March 27, 2014, About 6,000 debt prisoners have been jailed nationwide, head of media office at Prison Sector, Mohamed Eliwa, told The Cairo Post.
Many debt prisoners were enforced to borrow money to help a daughter get married, or to finance a medical operation for a family member. According to Article 376 in Egypt’s penal code, they could face up to a three-year sentence in case that they did not repay the debts.