Egypt: After the presidential pardons

Date of source:
1 Oct 2015


The president’s decision to pardon some 100 prisoners, most of them convicted under the protest law, is a welcome one. It not only ends an injustice inflicted on them by an unfair law, but speaks to their victory in the battle to defend freedom of expression and peaceful protest.

But .. What will become of others imprisoned under the protest law? What does the pardon mean for the continued enforcement of the law? Most importantly, is this the beginning of a course correction towards a more relaxed political landscape? Or is it the end of the road?

The current law should never have been issued. It was presented to the public in late 2013 as a necessary means to confront violence, terrorism, and subversion, but its real purpose was to curtail the right to peacefully demonstrate and silence the youth.

I offer my congratulations to all those safely released and wishes for freedom for their colleagues.

The writer, Ziad Bahaa-Eldin, holds a PhD in financial law from the London School of Economics. He is former deputy prime minister, former chairman of the Egyptian Financial Supervisory Authority and former chairman of the General Authority for Investment.

This article was published in Arabic in El-Shorouq newspaper on Tuesday, 29 September.


Cornelis Hulsman: my compliments for the author and the views he presented in this article!

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