25 defendants accused of committing terrorist and criminal acts were released from Azouli military prison in the Ismailia governorate Saturday.
Sheikh Khaled Arafat, a member of the Nasserist Al-Karama Party in North Sinai, told Daily News Egypt, their release is part of a recently adopted ‘temporary release’ plan implemented by security forces.
The plan aims to release detainees from Sinai and monitor their activities and movements for a particular number of months in order confirm their innocence.
The defendants were all affiliated to Salafist and extremist groups, and the majority participated in demonstration supporting the Muslim Brotherhood in 2013, according to Arafat
Arafat’s estimates that 80 defendants were released, a number that differs from that official report by the government. Daily News Egypt attempted to confirm the number of detainees released but was unable to verify the figure, as the Interior Ministry’s media office said that they were not aware of the incident.
The army has arrested and killed hundreds in Sinai due to their involvement or affiliation to militant activities or attacks that targeted security personnel and facilities.
In October, 70 detained Sinai residents were released from Azouli military prison.
A June 2014 report by The Guardian claimed hundreds of “disappeared” Egyptians were being tortured and held outside of judicial oversight in the secret Azouli military prison. The newspaper estimated that at least 400 detainees are being held there.