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Egypt's Sisi orders release of 165 jailed youths ahead of Ramadan

2015-June-18       Source: Xinhuanet.com

Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi ordered on Wednesday the release of 165 young people who have been in custody over violating the new anti-protest law, official MENA news agency reported.

Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi ordered on Wednesday the release of 165 young people who have been in custody over violating the new anti-protest law, official MENA news agency reported.

Sisi's presidential decree was made on the occasion of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan that is going to start worldwide on Thursday.

Local media said that Sisi ordered the interior ministry that the released youths should spend the first day of Ramadan with their family members at their homes.

Sisi's leadership has been facing internal and external criticism from human rights activists over alleged crackdown on freedoms.

The issue started with the approval of the controversial anti-protest law adopted in late 2013 that led to the imprisonment of youth activists who took part in mass protests against former military-orineted President Hosni Mubarak and former Muslim Brotherhood-oriented President Mohamed Morsi that paved the way for Sisi's rule.

Wednesday's list of released young people excluded jailed well-known activists like April 6 Youth Movement founder Ahmed Maher, liberal activists Ahmed Doma and Alaa Abdel-Fattah and female lawyer and activist Mahinour al-Masry.

Since Morsi's removal by then-army chief Sisi in July 2013, security forces have been launching crackdown on opposition in general and the affiliates of the currently-blacklisted Brotherhood group in particular.

Egyptian courts are currently holding mass trials for thousands of Morsi's supporters. The former Islamist president along with more than 100 other defendants have recently been handed appealable death sentences over their roles in a mass jailbreak during the 2011 protests that toppled Mubarak.

In its annual report released in late May, Egypt's National Council for Human Rights said that the violence since Morsi's removal has resulted in the deaths of 2,600 people, including 700 police and army men, 550 civilians and 1,250 Brotherhood members and supporters.

Editor: Chan

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