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Egypt President pardons detained researcher Patrick Zaki

On Tuesday, Zaki was sentenced to three years in prison by an emergency court on charges of publishing false news over an article he wrote about the plight of Egypt's Christians

July 19, 2023 at 6:39 pm

Egypt’s President, Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi, has pardoned rights researcher, Patrick Zaki, a day after he was handed a three-year prison term, the state news agency said on Wednesday as news of his case spread widely in Italy where he had been studying, Reuters reports.

The decision by Sisi followed reactions to Zaki’s sentencing by Italy’s Prime Minister and the US State Department, as well as an appeal by the head of Egypt’s national dialogue, a state-controlled initiative to debate the country’s future.

Sisi’s pardon also included Mohamed El-Baqer, a lawyer who represented detained activist, Alaa Abdel Fattah, and was arrested in 2019 while attending his client’s interrogation.

Zaki, a researcher at the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights (EIPR), was sentenced on Tuesday by a state security court in his hometown of Mansoura for allegedly spreading false news over an article he wrote about the plight of Egypt’s Christians.

He had first been arrested during a visit to Egypt in February 2020 and served 22 months in pre-trial detention before being released, pending the completion of his trial.

READ: Egypt sentences rights researcher Patrick Zaki to 3 years in jail – rights group