The Detained Youth Committee was officially formed on Tuesday and will be lead by veteran politician Osama Al-Ghazali Harb and other members of parliament, according to state media. MPs Tarek El-Khouly, Mohamed Abdel Aziz, and Karim Al-Saqa will also join the committee.
This committee was decided by President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi during the three-day, state-sponsored National Youth Conference held in Sharm El-Sheikh last week.
The president’s decision came following Harb’s statement during the conference to issue a presidential remission for young people detained for nonviolent cases and those who were detained without a judicial verdict.
The committee aims to aid detained youth by collecting information regarding their legal situation and sending their cases to the office of the presidency to decide whether they deserve to be released. It will work in coordination with the parliamentary committee of human rights.
A number of international and Egyptian human rights organisations previously stated that thousands of citizens have been arrested since the ouster of former Islamist president Mohamed Morsi in 2013 and called on Al-Sisi to release them, as well as to stop human rights violations in prisons.
A second committee is expected to be formed to study suggestions to modify the Protest Law of 2013, which was also suggested by young participants during last week’s conference.
The controversial Protest Law has been a source of outrage among several youth entities, as it stipulates that any gathering of more than 10 people could be deemed as illegal without obtaining a statement of permission from the Interior Ministry.
The three-day conference was criticised by opposition groups and political parties who believed it did not represent all Egyptian youth, since dozens are still currently held in prison for what they say are unlawful charges.