Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi has pardoned 541 prisoners, many of whom are opponents to the current regime who were arrested and detained for political reasons.
The Egyptian Ministry of Interior’s Prisons Authority said in a statement on Tuesday that Sisi issued a presidential decree ordering the release of the prisoners with probationary measures.
Under Egyptian law, the president may pardon prisoners who have served at least half of their sentence.
This presidential pardon comes in commemoration of the Egyptian Police Day of January 25, the Prisons Authority added.
“It also comes in the context of the Ministry of Interior’s keenness to implement punitive policies in their modern sense” and to enable convicted prisoners to “mingle in society,” according to the official statement.
Since Sisi led a military coup when he was the country’s defence chief in 2013, the Egyptian authorities have launched an unprecedented crackdown on dissent, arresting, detaining, and forcefully disappearing thousands on political grounds. Human Rights Watch estimates that Sisi’s Egypt has at least 60,000 political prisoners.