CAIRO: Prisoners will exceptionally be allowed visits by their families for a week starting from Thursday, marking Prophet Mohammed’s Birthday (Moulid el-Nabi,) according to a Ministry of Interior statement Sunday.
The decision was issued by Interior Minister Magdy Abdel Ghaffar, entitling the prisoners to a week of extra visits that will not be deducted from their quota of visits. The last day of the exceptional visits will coincide with Wednesday, Jan.6.
The Birthday of Prophet Mohammed is celebrated on the 12th day of the third month of the Islamic Calendar “Rabi al-Awal.” It falls this year on Dec.23.
Exceptional visits are usually allowed on occasions, like allowing visits on the Egyptian mothers’ day on March 21 of every year.
A tradition of pardoning prisoners on official holidays and feasts also takes place if inmates meet a condition of serving at least half of their prison terms, totaling at least six months in jail.
In October, the Interior Ministry ordered the release of some 331 prisoners in commemoration of the 42nd anniversary of the 6th of October War.
On Sept. 23, President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi pardoned 100 prisoners on the occasion of Eid al-Adha (Feast of Sacrifice.)
Those pardoned included two journalists Mohamed Fahmy and Baher Mohamed after being retried and sentenced to three years in prison in the high-profile case of Al-Jazeera reporters.
The list also included Sanaa Seif, the sister of the prominent activist Alaa Abdel Fatah, and human rights defender Yara Sallam, who were serving a prison term over violating 2013 Protest Law.
Additional reporting by Mahmoud Abdel Rady