Ahmed Duma pardoned: prominent Egyptian opposition figure released from prison

Ahmed Duma pardoned: prominent Egyptian opposition figure released from prison

Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi has one of the most prominent opposition figures in the country pardoned. The President has used his “constitutional powers” and has been imprisoned since 2013 Ahmed Duma and other prisoners were pardoned, a member of the President’s Paroles Committee said on Saturday.

Shortly afterwards, several human rights activists and lawyers published photos of Duma leaving Badr prison on the outskirts of the capital Cairo, which was notorious for the prison conditions.

The one because of the accusation of clashes with security forces sentenced to 15 years imprisonment Duma was one of the most important figures in the movement that toppled longtime ruler Hosni Mubarak in 2011.

The 37-year-old was initially sentenced to 25 years in prison in 2015, and in 2019 another court finally reduced the sentence to 15 years and also imposed one Fine of more than 300,000 euros at that time. The Supreme Court of Appeals later upheld the verdict.

Secret messages from prison

Duma had recently published a book of poetry entitled “Curly” (English for “curly”), which was created using scraps of paper that he had secretly given to his lawyers from prison. The book was due to be exhibited at the Cairo Book Fair in 2021 but was withdrawn for “security reasons”.

The pardon given by al-Sisi comes against the background of a “national dialogue” on key political issues in the countryinitiated by the government.

In recent months, al-Sisi has already announced that several prisoners will be pardoned. In July, among them were the scientist Patrick Zaki and human rights lawyer Mohammed al-Baker. Alaa Abdel Fattah, Egypt’s most famous political prisoner, remains behind bars.

Since April, the authorities allowed about 1000 political prisoners released. However, Egyptian human rights activists complain that in the same period 3000 more people arrested for political reasons became. The presidential election in Egypt is scheduled for next year, and al-Sisi is expected to win.

Egypt, which has been ruled by al-Sisi since 2013 after the fall of the democratically elected President Mohammed Morsi, is being examined by the non-governmental organization World Justice Project on the Rule of law ranking 135th out of 140 countries guided. It is one of the countries that uses the death penalty most frequently. (AFP)


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