The Egyptian presidency and its affiliated Detained Youth Committee did not announce the names of detainees that will be released, despite the committee members’ statement on 12 November saying that a first list would be ready within 48 hours.
Committee member Mohamed Abdel Aziz said Tuesday that they began preparing for a second list of detainees eligible for release from prison, local media reported. None of the committee members were immediately available for comments.
On Sunday, committee member and member of parliament Tarek El-Khouly confirmed in a statement to Daily News Egypt that the president was expected to decide whether to grant pardons to the 83 prisoners in a preliminary list received from the Detained Youth Committee in an official meeting on Saturday.
According to the committee members, the first list included journalists and novelists arrested in publishing cases, among which were TV anchor Islam El-Behairy and novelist Ahmed Nagy.
During the National Youth Conference on 25-27 October in Sharm El-Sheikh, President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi issued a decision to form the Detained Youth Committee in order to reconsider the situation of some prisoners, as the conference witnessed demands to reconsider the cases of many young detainees.
Al-Sisi decided in his meeting with committee members 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.
Two days ago, journalist and committee member Nashwa El-Houfy said that well-known detainees Ahmed Douma, Alaa Abdel Fattah, and Ahmed Maher were cited as the prisoners who will be excluded due to their alleged affiliation to the Muslim Brotherhood. Her statements stirred controversy among the detainees’ families and human rights activists.
Al-Houfy’s presence in the committee has been highly criticised due to her previous opposition to two presidential pardons and against political activists.