The Detained Youth Committee for presidential pardons concluded its work on the second pardon list and is currently working on setting an appointment with the presidency to submit the list, member of the committee Tarek El-Khouly told Daily News Egypt on Sunday.
The committee has been working on the second list for more than two months, which has raised many questions among families and public figures regarding its delay. The first list was released after only 15 days.
El-Khouly, who is also a member in parliament (MP), commented on people’s concerns regarding the list’s delay, clarifying that they only wanted to be sure that every prisoner they choose truly deserves the pardon, which consumes a lot of time and effort.
He also added that the committee wanted to increase the number of pardoned prisoners for this list.
El-Khouly said: “I understand that people are concerned to know the names of the pardoned prisoners, but for this list we received more cases, and most of the names were repeats. This has resulted in a lot more work.”
The MP asserted that all aforementioned points are the only reasons why the second list has taken longer than the first, and there are no other reasons. He also rejected to provide names or number of those on the list, although he did state that the number being circulated on social media is not accurate.
The committee members are not allowed to provide names or numbers to the media, the MP said. “I can only say that the number on the second list will be double the number that was on the first list,” El-Khouly continued.
Some media reports stated that second list would include between 300 to 400 prisoners, while other reports claimed the list would have around 150 prisoners.
The MP asserted that the committee prioritised on its list detainees in protest cases, as well as detained journalists.
The committee received suggested lists of prisoner cases from the parliament’s Human Rights Committee, the Press Syndicate, the semi-governmental National Council for Human Rights, and from political parties. El-Khouly previously said that the second list would include a number of journalists sent to the committee by the syndicate.
There are around 28 journalists currently detained in Egypt, according to previous statements from the syndicate.
El-Khouly concluded that once the list is submitted to the presidency the committee will immediately start working on the third list.
For the third list, he previously said that the committee is looking forward to discussing with the president the possibility of adding to its work cases of prisoners detained pending military trials.
The first list was released in early November and pardoned 82 prisoners from a list that originally included 83 prisoners.
This committee was formed by a recommendation of the president following the National Youth Conference in October to pardon imprisoned youth, particularly students. During the conference, veteran politician Osama Al-Ghazali Harb was appointed as the head of the committee.