[QODLink]
Middle East
Egypt releases inmates on revolt anniversary
About 3,000 prisoners pardoned on orders of country's military ruler to mark the first anniversary of the revolution.
Last Modified: 25 Jan 2012 18:00
Egyptians gathered in Tahrir Square to mark the first anniversary of the country's revolution [Getty]

Egypt is releasing around 3,000 prisoners on the orders of the country's military ruler to mark the first anniversary of the uprising that toppled Hosni Mubarak, officials have said.

Security officials told the AFP news agency on Wednesday that 1,959 prisoners were being released after they were pardoned by Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi on Saturday.

"Another 1,014 charged with criminal acts are also in the process of being released early for good behaviour," one official said.

Many of the pardoned prisoners were seen walking out of Tora prison, located on the outskirts of Cairo, witnesses said on Wednesday.

Blogger Michael Nabil, who was jailed last year for insulting Egypt's armed forces, was among those released a day earlier after being pardoned.

The order to free the prisoners is one of several concessions offered by Tantawi on the anniversary of the revolution, in an apparent bid to placate protesters who have called for mass nationwide demonstrations.

On Tuesday, Tantawi announced the partial lifting of the decades-old emergency law, but said it would still apply to acts of "thuggery", drawing criticism from local and international rights groups.

The release comes as thousands of Egyptians poured into Tahrir Square, amid differences over whether Wednesday's rallies were celebrations or a renewed push for change.

Source:
Agencies
Topics in this article
People
Country
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
More than one-quarter of Gaza's population has been displaced, causing a humanitarian crisis.
Ministers and MPs caught on camera sleeping through important speeches have sparked criticism that they are not working.
Muslim charities claim discrimination after major UK banks began closing their accounts.
Italy struggles to deal with growing flood of migrants willing to risk their lives to reach the nearest European shores.
Featured
Thousands of Houthi supporters have called for the fall of Yemen's government. But what do the Houthis really want?
New ration reductions and movement restrictions have refugees from Myanmar anxious about their future in Thailand.
US lawyers say poor translations of election materials disenfranchise Native voters.
US drones in Pakistan have killed thousands since 2004. How have leaders defended or decried these deadly planes?
Residents count the cost of violence after black American teenager shot dead by white Missouri police officer.
join our mailing list