Egypt: The human rights situation and the role of the Presidential Pardon Committee in Egypt after the Iftar of the Egyptian Family and launching a call for a National Dialogue.


The Egyptian authorities continued to commit several violations towards human rights against civil society over the past nine years, which led to the prolongation of the control of the police oppression on all aspects of life and the returning of security bodies to its favorable roles in terrorizing citizens and silence policy. This time, repression extended to all society, religious and political groups, in addition to mass encroachments on individual liberties and their rights, and closing the public sphere. Moreover, the number of political detainees has raised in an unprecedented rate inside prisons. Thus, during the past three years, voices have raised in order to find a necessary solution, a political breakthrough and open the public sphere to reach a dialogue between the current regime and its opponents.

During the Egyptian family Iftar, a glimpse of hope has appeared when President Sisi issued several decisions, including a call for a national dialogue which includes all political powers and reactivating the Presidential Pardon Committee to check the files of political prisoners and raise them to the President of the Republic. After the Iftar, some formal steps have been taken by the concerned bodies and the Pardon Committee has started it role by launching a platform to communicate with prisoners’ families. Moreover, the National Dialogue’s Council of Trustees war formed and the General Coordinator was selected. Also, voices appeared calling for Egyptians in exile to return home, and some opposition figures returned but without clarifying the mechanism of the return and it’s conditions.

Through this paper, DAAM center seeks discussing the file of human rights during the period after the Egyptian Family Iftar. This paper begins with a simple point of view regarding the true state of human rights during the past nine years, especially the file of pretrial detention, then mentioning the Egyptian Family Iftar and its outcomes. In the third part, the paper runs over the role of the Pardon Committee and its effect on the file of the political prisoners, then mentioning the National Dialogue and its formation as an initiative from DAAM center trying to contributes o developing a realistic vision of how to get the human rights situation in Egypt to a satisfactory state at all levels, away from justifying or defending violations or minimizing the number of what has been achieved or what can be accomplished to improve this complicated and difficult file.

An Egyptian protester shout slogans as demonstrators march through the streets of Cairo on their way to join thousands protesting against President Mohamed Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood at Tahrir Square on June 30, 2013. Egyptians flooded the streets determined to oust Morsi on the anniversary of his turbulent first year in power, in the biggest protests Egypt has seen since the 2011 revolt. AFP PHOTO/GIANLUIGI GUERCIA        (Photo credit should read GIANLUIGI GUERCIA/AFP/Getty Images)

First: A review on the state of human rights in Egypt before the Egyptian Family Iftar.

Human rights status in Egypt has witnessed a severe deterioration following July 30, 2013, and after  the dispersal of Rabaa and Ennahda sit ins, security campaigns against the followers of Muslim Brotherhood, and security forces returned to being present inside Egyptian Universities. moreoever,clashes escalated between the Police and students, and that was followed by the arrest of many students، and thepolitical activists.The pace of violence of armed groups has increased in Sinai against Army and Police ambushes, besides targeting churches and warship places through bombing or attacking those who visit them with live bullets all over the country. That resulted in hundreds of victims, and in December 26 of the same year, Cairo Appeal Court decided the formation of six exceptional circuits from criminal courts in Greater Cairo dedicated to examining cases related to terrorist crimes and violent events that Egypt has witnessed, and holding trials against those accused of committing these incidents. Moreover, Cairo appeal Court decided that these circuits are held inside police places such as the Police Academy in New Cairo and Institue of Police Secretaries in Tura.

 After President Sisi came to power, security repression worsened and the State Security , under its new name as the National Security, returned to its old practices of arbitrary detention, torture, extra judicial killing and forced disappearance. Moreover, the regime, though its security bodies, tightened its grip over universities, journalism, mass media, human rights organizations and political parties and and the pace of security prosecutions accelerated.

Over the past nine years, the current regime has used various means and patterns to control everything. Some of these practices are still prevalent, as it controlled the Legislative Authority to issue new laws that legalize violations such as,Law No. 94 of-2015 regarding combating terrorism which gave in its Article No. 40 a legal cover for enforced disappearance, as it allowed the security services to detain the accused for a period of 14 days before bringing them to the prosecution,  and Law No. 8of 2015regarding the organization  of terrorist entities and terrorists and its amendments  according to Law No. 14of 2020، which gave the right to the Public Prosecution or the Criminal Court to issue judgments against pretrial detainees depriving them from all their civil and political rights  and Law No. 22of 2018regulating procedures for seizing , inventorying , manageing and disposing of funds of terrorist froups and terrorist، according to which funds and companies affiliated with members of the Muslim Brotherhood were seized before final rulings were issued against them. Moverover, Law  No. 175of 2018 regarding combating information technology crimes، which justified Imprisonment and trial of individuals for publishing content that contradicts the values of the Egyptian family according to article No.25 of the same law, which resulted in arresting Haneen Hossamand Mawada Al Adham and six other content creators who were arrested on TikTok and Likee applications. Local and regional human rights organizations considered that the text of this article violates the Constitution and criminalize the right of opinion and expression.

New legislation and exceptional courts, whether military, emergency or terrorism, have contributed to the violation of fair trial guarantees.

In 2017, the Egyptian Parliament approved   an amendment to  5 articles of the criminal procedures  Law No. 150 of 1950، whereby the text of Article 277, the first paragraph, was amended and gave the court the right not to hear witnesses, although the courts that hear cases of a political nature, It is dominated by an exceptional character and consists of selected judges. Its trial lacks fair trial guarantees. However, the law gave the court the right not to hear witnesses, whether for the defense or prosecution.

Also, new legislations and exceptional courts, whether military or emergency or terrorist contributed in violating the guarantees  of fair trial as mass rulings were issued against civilians before military judiciary, While death sentences had a large share of them. Terrorism circuits, whether as ordinary or emergency criminal courts, also adopted the principle of conviction, and wasted the presumption of innocence, so it issued harsh prison sentences and rigorous imprisonment against political detainees, through trials that lacked the most basic guarantees of a fair trial, including recently the sentence of doctor Abdel Moneim Abo El Fetouh, the head of Strong Egypt Party and his deputy Mohamed El Qassas for 15 years، Besides, the judgement against the activist  and blogger Alaa Abdel Fattah for five years in  prison, and the human  rights lawyer Mohamed El Baqeer for  four years.also, the human rights lawyer Hoda Abdel Moneim and the human  rights lawyer Ezzat Ghoneim are waiting similar sentences before these circuits.

The pace of arbitrary detention in the current regime has been raised and is followed by several violations against human rights such as, forced disappearance and torture and prolonged pretrial detention in violation of the Code of Criminal Procedure, which specifies in Article No. 143 the maximum period of pretrial detention, which is two years, but Terrorist Criminal Courts continue in renewing the imprisonment  of the accused persons  under political cases for periods of up to four and five years without trial, and arbitrary arrests during the previous years have affected all social groups, including women, men, and children, activists, lawyers, journalists, human rights defenders, and academics. The security services have introduced new patterns to suppress opponents and ensure that they remain in prisons for the longest possible period which is the policy of therevolvingdoors, which is a term used by local human rights circles to refer to the re-detention of prisoners pending political cases whom the judicial authorities have issued decisions to release,  and being imprisoned in new cases with the same accusations as in the old cases, based on the National Security investigation report only.

The security follow up has appeared as the latest pattern of violations practiced by the National Security Body against former detainees though forcing them to go to the National Security headquarters at times determined by the National Security Officer. This summoning could be once a week. The former detainee go to the National Security headquarter and waits until being allowed to leave. Moreover, targeting and besieging human rights organizations and their employees through  case No. 173 of 2011 Investigations are still ongoing, in which decisions were issued to seize the bank accounts of human rights organizations and their officials, preventing them from traveling, and detaining some of them..

Sisi era was marked by building new prisons as   45 decisions were issued  to build new prisons , bringing the total number of prisons in Egypt to 88 public prisons. The file of the places of detention was one of the main files of human rights institutions in Egypt, and the accompanying   violations، such as, the denial of visits, solitary confinement, medical negligence, torture  and deaths inside the places of  detention. Despite the current regime’s attempt to beautify the image of prisons in Egypt, by amending the list Prisons and changing the name of the prison to Correctional and Rehabilitation Centers, and the prisoner to the inmate. However, the new Rehabilitation and Correctional centers were also not devoid of the same violations..

Freedom of the Press and media was violated under the current regime. In addition to the security targeting of journalists because of their work, since May 2017, the state has blocked approximately 558 news, political, and human rights websites as of the writing of this paper. The state imposed strict censorship on media content, as It made the media discourse in the hands of the state and its representatives only.

Second: The scarecrow of pretrial detention

During the past years, Egypt witnessed a severe deterioration in the file of pretrial detention. Human rights organizations intensified its efforts in an attempt to improve this file, as it could be said that pretrial detention has become an alternative for administrative detention in the reign of former president Mobarak. Although the Code of Criminal Procedure in its Article No. 143 stipulated that the maximum period for pretrial detention is two years, the last paragraph granted the Court of Cassation and the Referral Court the right to continue imprisoning individuals after more than two years.

The Supreme used State Security Prosecution used  pretrial detention and remand pending new cases as a means to suppress opponents, human rights defenders, and prisoners of conscience, as it interrogated the accused only once after his arrest, so that his renewal continues after that every forty-five days, for periods of up to four and five Years, as in the case of Case No. 79 of 2016, the Supreme State Security, and Case No. 955 of 2017, in which the Public Prosecution Office decided to refer the cases after five years of pretrial detention of the defendants, as well as the doctor and member of the April 6 Movement, Walid Shawqy, who was released after nearly four years. years, and Mr. Ibrahim Metwally, a human rights lawyer who completed the fourth year in pretrial detention.

After a great effort by Egyptian civil society to make the file of pretrial detention at the forefront of the files of violations committed by the authorities in Egypt, the security services tended to develop new methods to ensure that dissidents remain in prisons for as long as possible, and expanded during the last three years in using the policy of revolving doors as a means of legal circumvention. The maximum stipulated period of pretrial detention, as the Public Prosecution releases individuals after they have exceeded the two-year period stipulated by law, so that the State Security , during the implementation of the release procedures, fabricates new cases with the same accusations in the old case, according to an investigation report only, so that the detention of persons begins again pending new cases.

israh abdelfatah

sulafah magdy

muhamed baker

Article No.14 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights states in its fourth paragraph that “No one shall be liable to be tried or punished again for an offence for which he has already been finally convicted or acquitted in accordance with the law and penal procedure of each country.”

The revolving door takes many forms, not only after the issuance of the decisions of the judicial authorities, a person can be in pretrial detention under two cases at the same time with the same accusations, which is what was called in the human rights community (the revolving door from inside prison), where individuals are summoned from their places of detention for interrogation on the basis of new cases with the same accusations as the case of those imprisoned, claiming that they committed crimes inside places of detention, such as publishing false news from inside the prison, which is one of the accusations  against a number of journalists, activists, and human rights defenders in relation to Case No. 855 of 2020, the Supreme State Security, among them were journalists  Solafa Magdy ,Esraa Abdel Fattah, Mohamed Salah, and human rights lawyers Mohamed El Baqeer, Amr Mohamed and Mahienour Al Masry, and the activist Mohamed Oxygen, as well as what happened with the deputy of the Strong Egypt Party, Mohamed El Qassas, pending case No.1781 of 2019, and he was charged with joining a terrorist group and committing a terrorist financing crime. Also, after the person had served the sentence or obtaining an acquittal, the specter of re-detention has haunted political prisoners, to the extent that some of them have asked the court not to release him for fear of his enforced disappearance and then return to detention under a new case.

A new pattern of the revolving doors policy developed by the State Security Prosecution last year, before the abolition of the state of emergency, used re-detention and the emergency law together, in order to be able to abuse some political activists, human rights defenders and researchers, who are in pre-trial detention pending investigations in cases that the Supreme State Security Prosecution is investigating, as it used the copying of cases procedure, to copy the accusations against the detainees in the initial investigations, in a new case, to summon them from their prison after that and interrogate them in the new case for publication accusations only, and then refer them for trial before the emergency state security courts, which is what happened with the case of the detainees of the Hope case where the State Security Prosecution referred the former member of the Egyptian Parliament and lawyer Ziad Al Alaimy, the journalist Hossam Moanis, and the labor activist Hisham Fouad to trial before the Emergency State Security Court of Misdemeanor, and the referral of the activist and blogger Alaa Abdel-Fattah, the human rights lawyer Mohamed El Baqeer and the blogger Mohamed Oxygen, as well as the referral of the case of the researcher Ahmed Samir, to be issued against all of them. Final rulings of one level of litigation range from four to five years in prison, and researcher Patrick Zaki is still awaiting similar rulings after his release while the trial continues before the emergency court so far..

Third: The call for the Iftar of the Egyptian Family:

In the last quarter of last April, President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi called for a Ramadan Breakfast (Iftar) on April 26, 2022 under the name “Egyptian Family Breakfast”. Before this Iftar, on April 24, the Supreme State Security Prosecution issued decisions to release 41  prisoners under pretrial detention The list of the released named included April 6 movement member Walid Shawqy, human rights defender Ibrahim Ezz El-Din, journalist Mohamed Salah and others, and the number came according to what was stated by the head of the Reform and Development Party and member of the National Council for Human Rights, Mohamed Anwar Sadat, who received the detainees during their release from prison. .

During the Iftar of the Egyptian Family, President Sisi mentioned to the release decisions were issued، saying that “ I welcome the sons of the homeland, and I do not hide from you my great happiness at the release  of a number of our sons who were released during the past days, and I say to them, “The homeland accommodates all of us. Differences of opinion do not spoil the homeland’s affairs.” Some Egyptian opposition figures and former detainees participated in the breakfast based on their receipt of an invitation from the Presidency of the Republic. President Sisi launched a call for national dialogue, by assigning the management of the National Youth Congress to coordinate with all political, partisan and youth currents to conduct a political dialogue on the priorities of national action during the current stage and submit the results of this dialogue to him, and to reactivate the work of the Presidential Pardon Committee, which was formed as one of the outputs of the National Youth Conference, provided that it continues its work base in cooperation with the competent bodies.

Fourth: The re-activation of the Presidential Pardon Committee

As a result of the random arrests that followed the events of June 30, 2013, mass trials against large numbers of university students, and participants in demonstrations and field events, were issued against them with harsh sentences that reached fifteen years and life imprisonment, and among those sentenced were children under the age of eighteen. A year ago, the Court of Cassation upheld the majority of these rulings, and voices were raised from civil society at the time, calling on the President of the Republic to use the right conferred on him by the constitution and to pardon some prisoners.

In October, 2016, President Sisi announced the  inauguration the  first youth conference، two years after assuming the presidency. One of the outcomes of this conference was the announcement of the formation of the Presidential Pardon Committee, which consisted of five people: ((Osama Al-Ghazali Harb, Nashwa Al-Hofy, Muhammad Abdel Aziz, Tariq Al-Khouli, Karim Al-Sakka), with the aim of examining the cases that deserve a presidential pardon and submitting them to the President of the Republic. The Committee launched  an on line application for requests to examine cases of imprisoned and sentenced persons only, on the website of the National Youth Conference, and the committee submitted lists to the President of the Republic, which resulted in the pardon for a number of political prisoners. The committee continued to examine cases of convicts for two years until it stopped its work in 2018.

On April 26, 2022, President Sisi issued a decision dedicated to reactivating the Pardon Committee during the Egyptian Family Iftar. That decision defined the Committee’s powers, to search the file of political prisoners who are sentenced and in pretrial detention, and those in debt, and work to reintegrate them into society. In addition to three members of the old formation, namely (Karim Al-Sakka and two deputies of parliament, Mohamed Abdel Aziz and Tariq Al Khouli), two new members joined them, lawyer Tariq Al-Awadi and lawyer Kamal Abu Aita, so that the formation of the committee became composed of five members.

The current Egyptian constitution grants the President of the Republic the right to a presidential pardon for those sentenced by final rulings in its Article No. 155, which stipulates that “the President of the Republic may, after taking the opinion of the Council of Ministers, pardon or mitigate the sentence.” A comprehensive pardon is only possible by a law approved by the approval of the majority of the members of the House of Representatives. The law that includes the pardon decision is published in the Official Gazette, and in light of a general dark atmosphere and tens of thousands of political detainees, and the nightmare of the so-called pretrial detention, and new patterns devised by the security authorities to keep detainees in prisons, the President of the Republic’s decision comes to reactivate the Pardon Committee to include, along with the convicts, those under pretrial detention, like the point of light that rise at the end of the tunnel.

Over the course of six months, the Pardon Committee examined the files of pretrial detainees, convicts, and those in debt, amid doubts about its formation, their political rivalries with some political detainees, and their statements that indicate a state of tension between the members of the committee and some political backgrounds, in addition to not announcing specific criteria that it sets to examine applications, and the basis on which pardon or release decisions are issued.

This prompted human rights institutions in Egypt to publish, on May 5, 2022 a proposal for criteria and controls for the release of political detainees. Eight independent Egyptian human rights institutions signed the proposal. This proposal came to avoid past mistakes in dealing with the file of political prisoners. The proposal concentrated in justice, transparency, and inclusiveness and urgency, which is the basis on which the work of the Pardon Committee can be based if it wants a real change in this file, and the proposal sets standards and priorities from the reality of human rights work over the years on this file, which can lead to the desired result for everyone, in accordance with what was stipulated in local and international laws. This was also indicated by lawyer and politician Khaled Ali in a post on his Facebook page.

The human rights organizations in Egypt launched an unofficial form through their online platform, aiming at obtaining information about prisoners under political and freedom of expression cases, in order to submit them to the Presidential Pardon Committee. On May 23, 2022, these organizations sent its first list with the name of prisoners in pretrial detention and those who are in a forced disappearance to the Pardon Committee. This list included the data of 2418 cases, 2164 cases with a political background, 142 cases in criminal cases, and 112 cases of enforced disappearance. That work was done after collecting applications and reviewing them to avoid fany repetition.

On July 27, 2022 seven Egyptian human rights organizations published a statement declaring sending its second list to the Presidential Pardon Committee coinciding with the first three months since the committee’s work. The new list included 536 cases in Egyptian prisons, and the organizations indicated in the statement that they submitted a first list that included 2418. Cases, only 2%, 49 of them were released by decisions of the Criminal Court or the Public Prosecution Office, including two who were re-detained in political cases, bringing the total cases that were sent to 2945, including 2583 were in political cases.

Despite the Committee’s failure to respond to the standards and controls announced by human rights institutions, lawyers and jurists, a number of human rights defenders launched a campaign to the last prisoner in order to pardon political prisoners, and the campaign adopted the controls published by human rights organizations before that, justice, transparency, comprehensiveness and acceleration. This came after statements made by some members of the Pardon Committee, about the non-applicability of the terms and criteria of the committee to prisoners who join terrorist groups or are involved in acts of violence, taking the final rulings issued as a legal argument for the involvement of these individuals in such acts, and in this context over the course of at least five years, more than one human rights organization has issued reports monitoring trials in several cases, marred by violations of fair trial guarantees, and hundreds have been sentenced on the basis of confessions extracted under physical and moral torture. In addition, the issuance of rulings by exceptional courts such as the Military and Emergency Supreme State Security, or of an exceptional nature such as terrorism courts, making these statements a violation of the rights of some detainees and depriving them of their right to have an opportunity to examine their files, and their right to receive a presidential pardon, or at least a fair trial.

Representative Mohamed Abdul Aziz , a Pardon Committee member  announced on October 17, 2022 that the number of those released by the committee had exceeded 1,000 pending opinion cases. On the other hand, human rights organizations monitored a smaller number. the Egyptian Commission for Rights and Freedoms monitored, .ا    as of October 5, the release of 663 pretrial detainees by decisions of the courts and the prosecution, while 13 obtained a presidential pardon, 287 people were re-detained, 1232 people appeared for the first time before the prosecution, and Association for Freedom of Thought and Expression monitored in its report the 520 pretrial detainees and 13 presidential pardons within five months  .

Since the activation of the Pardon Committee until October 26, 2022, DAAM’s team work monitored the release of 657 prisoners in pretrial detention by decisions issued by criminal courts and prosecutions, 13 persons with a presidential pardon, and 1319 persons who were interrogated by the Supreme State Security Prosecution for the first time. Human rights organizations have between 520 pretrial detainees as a minimum, and 663 people as a maximum, and they all agree on the number of presidential pardons, which are figures far from what was announced by the Pardon Committee with the release of more than 1,000 political prisoners until October 17, which raises questions and doubts about the purpose behind the announcement. Committee for inaccurate numbers.

Fifth: The call for a National Dialogue

The call for a national dialogue, including all political, partisan and youth powers, was one of the outputs of the Egyptian family’s Iftar. This call came without a clear agenda as President Al-Sisi contented himself with calling and submitting the results to him, without indicating how to conduct this dialogue, or announcing clear and transparent criteria and controls in selecting its members and participants.  The selection of the General  Coordinator of the Board of  Trustees and its members took two months. Then, Diaa Rashwan, the Head of the Journalist Syndicate, was selected to be the General Coordinator. On June 19, 2022, the members of the Board of Trustees, consisting of 19 members, were announced. It took about twenty days and three months for them to consult to formulate the Board of Trustees’ work regulations and the Council’s code of  conduct, and to approve the work of the sub-committees., and the tasks of the rapporteurs and assistant rapporteurs. The statement of the National Dialogue Department came announced the formation without disclosing the criteria and controls for selecting these members.

Over the course of eight sessions, after announcing the formation of the Board of Trustees of the Dialogue and its General Coordinator, all procedural details were completed, from the selection of the General Coordinator, members of the Council, and the rapporteurs of the sub-committees. The formation of the on human rights and Public freedoms   came as one of the outcomes of the fourth session, in which the Board of Trustees finished Choosing the special and sub-committees, to be a sub-committee affiliated with the Political Axis Committee. In  the next session,Prof. Dr. Nevin Mossaad was chosen   as a rapporteur for the committee, and lawyer Ahmed Ragheb as an assistant rapporteur. Although, after a full six months have passed since the call for the national dialogue, and its first sessions began, we do not have results Concrete real enables us to evaluate this dialogue.

However, it can be said that the goal of the national dialogue cannot be achieved unless the machine of political repression stops, as it is not possible to call for a dialogue that brings together all political groups in light of the violations of human rights and the rights and freedoms of individuals. Over the period that followed this call, approximately 1319 people were arrested, most of them were arrested for expressing their opinion, and the terrorism courts issued decisions to renew the detention of hundreds of individuals during one session, in addition to the deaths inside places of detention due to deliberate medical negligence. The security prosecutions of journalists  because of the performance of their work continue, in signs indicating the lack of seriousness of the Egyptian authorities in their call for a national dialogue, and the lack of real intention to stop human rights violations and political deviations at various levels.

Sixthly: The return of dissidents from exile

The call for a national dialogue was followed by the return of some Egyptian opposition figures from exile, suddenly and without announcing clear mechanisms on the basis of which this return was based as prof. Amr Hamzawy and political activist Wael Ghoneim, and before them some individuals residing in countries such as Qatar, were invited to attend the Egyptian Family Iftar. After the return of prof. Amr Hamzawy, the head of the Reform and Development Party, Mohamed Anwar El Sadat launched an for a return to  the Egyptians  in exile on the party platform, and he talked about that the public sphere in Egypt, in light of the call for a national dialogue and the reactivation of the presidential pardon committee, makes the return possible, indicating that the party was indeed a mediator for some cases that returned to the country without any Security harassment, according to the possible and available standards during this stage, and that the initiative targets individuals who have fears of returning at present. Moreover, it can be developed in the future to include those sentenced or previously held in pretrial detention pending cases, and whose names are on the accusation lists, and that the invitation is devoid of any guarantees except that the party will present the information to the Political Committee of the National Dialogue.

The return of some political opposition figures in exile has raised some questions despite their small number, as till now the state didn’t announce officially any initiative to open that file, and the returning individuals haven’t disclosed any clear mechanism that enabled them to return to Egypt after being targeted from judicial and security authorities that led them to stay long years in exile, so this subject is still kept secret till now, and devoid of clear standards, controls and mechanisms that encourage others to take this step.

DAAM center appreciates the initiative of the Reform and Development Party as it is the first of its kind. We affirm that the return of a citizen to his country is an absolute right guaranteed by all constitutions and local and international laws. However, any initiative related to the freedoms and rights of individuals must contain safe conditions and controls that guarantee them the enjoyment of their freedoms in their country without being subjected to harassment or security targeting, and not to lose sight of the main reason that drove these individuals into exile, which is the search for personal safety and escaping from arrest, as many left after going through the detention experience, whether after obtaining acquittals, serving imprisonment time, or being released on pending investigations, or after being listed in terrorist entities or security and judicial prosecutions for them and their families or because of their work in the human rights field.. During the past nine years, the number of Egyptians in exile has been raised, so it can be said that the number reached thousands and their activity increased, and they began to form human rights and political coalitions, working mainly on Egyptian affairs which of course increased the burden of their internal security files, and their return without clear guarantees became a serious danger to them.

All the aforementioned made the call of the head of the Reform and Development Party an incomplete call that lacks the most important means of security, without clear coordination with the state’s security apparatus, without opening the public sphere, and without stopping security repression. Egyptians in exile will continue to fear such initiatives, and to trust them.

Summary and Recommendations:

It can be said that all the calls made by the Egyptian authorities to improve the human rights situation and stop the continuous bleeding of violations during the previous years will be useless, without a real will to make a change. Within six months, human rights organizations, including DAAM Center, monitored the implementation of the decisions issued during The Egyptian family’s breakfast (Iftar) in an attempt to reach real, tangible results, which can be considered a real change in the political and human rights scene, but it is no longer a formality that lacks real will.

The first feature of this change lies in stopping the violations committed by the security authorities, in the abuse of opponents, as the number of the arrested individuals increases every day, and the National Security Sector continues using the policy of revolving doors and re-arrest individuals who were included in the Pardon Committee lists, such as what happened with the activist Sherif Al Rouby who was arrested for the fourth time a few months after his release because of an interview he made with Al-Jazeera channel, in which he talked about the poor conditions that ex-prisoners suffer from. The judicial authorities are still ignoring complaints about violations of places of detention, medical negligence and deaths resulting from it, and despite the state’s announcement of building new prisons called reform and rehabilitation centers, it did not differ from its predecessor, as human rights organizations monitored at least three deaths as a result of medical negligence in the center Badr 3 Correctional and Rehabilitation Center. In addition, the violations against the activist and political blogger Alaa Abdel-Fattah, who has been on hunger strike since last April, and the forced intervention that took place with him inside the Wadi El-Natron Correctional and Rehabilitation Center to force him to end his strike, are all clear indications that the matter requires more than Just names, as the patterns of violations that have prevailed over the years must be stopped.

Despite the effort made by the Presidential Pardon Committee, the result is not commensurate with this effort, and the committee lacks clear criteria. The release of small lists over long periods of time will not make a real impact on the file of political prisoners, so any change in this file should be based on clear legal and human rights grounds, as the following must be released:

DAAM Center appreciates all attempts and initiatives made by individuals, public and official institutions, and political parties, to create a dialogue table through which the bleeding of continuous violations during the previous years could be stopped.

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