| 14 June 2024, Friday |

Egypt’s president pardons activist Douma, other prisoners -state TV

 Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi has pardoned a number of prisoners, including prominent Egyptian activist Ahmed Douma, the state TV said on Saturday.

Douma, a leading figure in the pro-democracy revolt that toppled autocrat Hosni Mubarak in 2011, was sentenced in 2019 to 15 years in prison for rioting and attacking security forces.

In delivering his verdict at the time, the judge said Douma was part of a crowd that broke into parliament and damaged part of it, describing them as doing the work of the “devil.”

Like several other prominent activists in Egypt, Douma has been jailed under Mubarak, the subsequent ruling military council, former president Mohamed Mursi, and al-Sisi.

Last month, authorities also freed Egyptian rights researcher Patrick Zaki and lawyer Mohamed el-Baqer after they were pardoned by al-Sisi.

Since late 2021 Egypt has taken a number of steps which it says are aimed at addressing human rights, including amnesties for some prominent prisoners, but critics have dismissed the moves as cosmetic and say arrests have continued.

Egypt’s most prominent activist, Alaa Abd el-Fattah, and many other detainees swept up in a decade-long crackdown on dissent, remain in prison.

Authorities have said the arrests were made on security grounds.

  • Reuters