Egyptian president grants pardon to activist Douma, others

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi has granted pardons to several inmates, which includes the notable Egyptian activist Ahmed Douma, state television reported on Saturday.

Douma, a prominent figure in the pro-democracy uprising that led to the ousting of autocrat Hosni Mubarak in 2011, had received a 15-year prison sentence in 2019 for charges related to rioting and assaulting security forces.

When announcing the verdict back then, the judge stated that Douma was among a group that unlawfully entered the parliament premises, causing damage, and characterized their actions as aligned with the “devil.”

Similar to numerous other notable activists in Egypt, Douma has faced imprisonment during the tenures of Mubarak, the subsequent ruling military council, former president Mohamed Mursi, and al-Sisi.

In the previous month, Egyptian authorities released human rights researcher Patrick Zaki and lawyer Mohamed el-Baqer, who had been granted pardons by al-Sisi.

Starting from the latter part of 2021, Egypt has initiated various measures that it claims are intended to address human rights concerns. These actions include granting amnesties to certain prominent detainees.

However, critics have labeled these efforts as superficial, asserting that arrests have persisted despite these developments.

Alaa Abd el-Fattah, Egypt’s most notable activist, along with numerous other individuals apprehended during a crackdown on dissent spanning a decade, are still confined in prison.

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