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Egypt releases over 400 September protesters

An Egyptian man embraces his parents following his release from prison in Cairo on 14 March 2017, along with 202 other prisoners who received a presidential pardon. [ALY FAHIM/AFP via Getty Images]
An Egyptian man embraces his parents following his release from prison in Cairo on 14 March 2017, along with 202 other prisoners who received a presidential pardon. [ALY FAHIM/AFP via Getty Images]

Egypt has released over 400 people arrested for taking part in the September protests.

On 20 September Egyptians took to the streets to protest against the ruling regime after soaring living costs, austerity and a widespread house demolition campaign left thousands unable to make ends meet.

By the end of September Mada Masr reported that nearly 400 protesters had been arrested.

In mid-October, human rights lawyer Khaled Ali announced that almost 2,000 people had been arrested since the demonstrations started.

The former presidential candidate said that the figures were based on testimonies from lawyers, families of detainees and human rights groups because the regime did not reveal any official numbers.

On Tuesday, a terrorism court in Giza announced the conditional release of 416 "suspects".

Roughly one month ago 79 children who had been arrested since the beginning of the September protests were released.

READ: 'You know it's me who released you, don't you?' Trump tells former political prisoner in Egypt

The announcement sparked fierce criticism among human rights organisations who asked what happened to these children in the week they were detained.

All the children were between 10 and 15 and were mainly from Upper Egypt where most of the protests were being held.

Egyptians took to the streets after whistleblower Mohamed Ali called on them to unite against the ruling regime after he shot to fame following his allegations of corruption levelled at the government last year.

Political prisoners in Egypt, including children, are systematically tortured, abused and sentenced in mass trials.

Over the last several months rights advocates have been really pushing the Egyptian government to release prisoners of conscience particularly in light of the coronavirus crisis which would spread quickly through the unhygienic, overcrowded cells they are kept in.

In October 222 MEPs called on Egypt to release its political prisoners shortly after an open letter to Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi from 56 US congressmen who stated human rights abuses in Egypt would not be tolerated if Joe Biden won the election.

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