President Mohamed Morsy issued on Monday night a presidential decree granting all detainees held since 25 January, 2011 and until he came to power in 30 June 2012 amnesty for all crimes and felonies committed in support of the revolution , according to state-owned news agency MENA.
“The president’s decision includes those tried by the military, the Supreme State Security Court of Emergency, as well as detainees tried in front of civilian courts,” said Mohamed Fouad Gadallah, Morsy’s legal advisor, quoted by state-owned Al-Ahram. Gadallah added that the decision includes full amnesty for those who “committed crimes or felonies in support of the revolution”.
Human rights lawyer Mohamed Abdel Aziz confirmed that the decision of amnesty includes pardon for all the crimes as well as for the detainees’ remaining time in prison; thus detainees will not have a criminal record. He further added that the amnesty decision is not necessarily granted to an individual; it can be granted to a group by a presidential decree.
The decision nevertheless excludes those charged with attempted murder, according to MENA.
“Morsy’s decision comes as a response to the committee’s final report delivered to him in September,” said Mohamed Zare’, rights lawyer and member of the committee assigned by Morsy to review the cases of civilians facing military trials. The committee’s final recommendation, before its dissemination, was the release of all political detainees currently undergoing trials.
According to Zare’, the list of pardoned detainees includes people who have been arrested in the transitional period of nearly a year and a half for expressing a political opinion or political participation.
The trial of those held over taking part in the Mohamed Mahmoud clashes was set to resume next Saturday. “Yet, I don’t expect this amnesty to include the military officers tried in military tribunals,” Zare’ said. A group of military officers, known as the 8 April officers, have been in military prison for over 16 months now for participating in protests.
“There’s a wisdom behind leaving military issues for the military to resolve … but there are promises from military officials that the detained officers will soon be released,” Zare’ said.
The revolutionary prisoners in question are expected to be released during the month, as the law necessitates that the public prosecutor and the military prosecutor publish a list of the names of those included in the amnesty in the Waqa’e Masreya newspaper, a supplement of the official gazette, as well as a couple of widely circulating newspapers within a month from the issuance of the law, according to MENA.
This comes after Morsy’s a speech commemorating the 6 October victory, where he promised to release more “revolutionary prisoners”.