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Egyptian Leader Morsi Issues General Pardon for Revolutionary Activists

  • VOA News

Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi, in Cairo, Friday, July 13.

Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi, in Cairo, Friday, July 13.

Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi has issued a decree granting a pardon to Egyptians who were detained or convicted for acts linked to the 2011 revolution that ousted his longtime predecessor, Hosni Mubarak.
In the decree posted on his Facebook page late Monday, Morsi said the pardon covers crimes "committed with the aim of supporting the revolution" from January 25, 2011, when the uprising began, to June 30, 2012, when he took office.
Morsi said Egyptians facing trial and those already serving prison sentences for such crimes will be eligible for release. He said the amnesty excludes people charged with or convicted of murder.
The presidential decree said Egypt's attorney general and military prosecutor have one month to compile and publish a list of people included in the amnesty. But Morsi did not say how many people will be pardoned or when they will be freed. He also did not define the specific offenses to be pardoned.
Youth groups that led the Egyptian revolution have long demanded that authorities drop charges against and release thousands of fellow activists detained in Mubarak's crackdown on the uprising and in the 18 months of military rule that followed. Many were convicted of thuggery, damaging public property, resisting authorities and disrupting public order.
Morsi already has pardoned several hundred civilians convicted in military tribunals of involvement in the recent unrest. He had been under pressure to deliver on his promise of building on the revolution in the runup to his 100th day in office, which he marked on Sunday.

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