Egypt: President frees Aljazeera journalists, other prisoners

Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi pardoned 100 prisoners, including Al Jazeera TV journalists Mohamed Fahmy and Baher Mohamed, on Wednesday.

A statement from the presidency said the pardon was granted to individuals who have received final prison verdicts in cases related to breaking a protest law or infringing on the police forces’ actions. Some inmates were pardoned for health-related and humanitarian reasons.

Mohamed, Fahmy and Peter Greste were sentenced to three years in prison on Aug. 29, following a retrial of a 2014 decision that critics said was based on ludicrous charges and a lack of incriminating evidence.

They were arrested in 2013 while working for al-Jazeera network. They were charged with airing false news and aiding the Muslim Brotherhood.

“I will continue fighting for press freedom. In my prison cell, I have been working on a charter to introduce to the Egyptian journalism syndicate and to the Egyptian presidency to improve press freedoms for both Egyptian journalists and foreign journalists working in Egypt,” said Mohammed Fahmy, who has a dual Egyptian-Canadian nationality, after his release.

Abdel Fatta al-Sisi’s pardons came as he was preparing to fly to New York for the 70th session of the United Nations General Assembly and followed a hail of international criticism over Egypt’s practice of routinely jailing journalists and activists to silence dissent.

Earlier in September, the Canadian government formally requested that the Egyptian government pardon Fahmy or deport him to Canada.

About Khalid Al Mouahidi 3412 Articles
Khalid Al Mouahidi : A binational from the US and Morocco, Khalid El Mouahidi has worked for several american companies in the Maghreb Region and is currently based in Casablanca, where he is doing consulting jobs for major international companies . Khalid writes analytical pieces about economic ties between the Maghreb and the Mena Region, where he has an extensive network