Certain well-known detainees will be excluded from the possibility of being pardoned due to allegedly belonging to the Muslim Brotherhood group, said journalist Nashwa Al-Houfy, a member of the Detained Youth Committee, in a Facebook post reviewing the work the committee has done so far, and its discussions and findings.
The decision to exclude Brotherhood members was agreed on after several discussions among the committee members.
Other members, including Al-Houfy, insisted on excluding members of the outlawed group, especially following the recent explosion in Gesr El-Suez in Heliopolis. This attack was committed by two former Brotherhood prisoners, Al-Houfy said.
She added that the committee members do not want to be accountable for releasing Brotherhood prisoners who could commit more terror attacks.
In her statement, Ahmed Douma, Alaa Abdel Fattah, and Ahmed Maher were cited as the prisoners who will be excluded due to their alleged Brotherhood affiliation. These men’s relatives responded to the journalist’s statement in other Facebook posts.
The brother of Maher said in a post: “I don’t trust the committee. It is not working according to justice, as it has declared its hostility to certain detainees who are already accused in cases related to protesting.”
The three men are serving harsh prison sentences, accused of clashing with security forces and unlicensed protesting. They are also well-known for their opposition to state polices.
In Al-Houfy’s post, she criticised some of the complaints coming from families and human rights groups which asserted that the committee lacks transparency and credibility. The journalist said: “This implies that they think we are going to grant amnesty to any person whose name appears to us without a review of what he was accused of.”
She added that some prisoners’ names appeared repeatedly in the reports submitted to the committee.
Muslim Brotherhood supporters have been rejected by society since the ouster of former Islamist president Mohamed Morsi. The group was labelled as a terrorist organisation and outlawed by the state shortly after.
The journalist said that examining the conditions of students arrested at protests was the committee’s priority.
Douma’s wife Nourhan Hafzy commented on the journalist’s statements, saying that those who were arrested for unlicensed protesting are also facing accusations of violence. She raised the question as to how the committee can figure out who is a vandal and who is not. She added that the statement reflects the journalist’s personal opinion.
Al-Houfy’s presence in the committee has been highly criticised due to her previous opposition to two presidential pardons and against political activists.
Member of parliament Tarek El-Khouly commented on these critics in a previous interview with Daily News Egypt saying: “I believe the doubts that surround Al-Houfy and even other members in the committee were created by the Brotherhood, because we previously announced that they would be excluded from our work.’’
The Detained Youth Committee was decided during the National Youth Conference on 25-27 October in Sharm El-Sheikh by President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi, in order to reconsider the situation of some prisoners, following statements calling for the release of youth arrested in publishing and opinion cases.
Al-Sisi decided in his meeting with committee members on Saturday to extend the committee’s work to look into cases of prisoners who received final verdicts in publishing and opinion cases. Initially, this was limited to prisoners in pretrial detention and those who received a preliminary verdict.