Egypt frees three journalists from pre-trial detention

Their release was announced by the head of the Journalists’ Union

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El Sisi. Photo: Presidential handout

The Egyptian journalists Ammer Abdel-Moneim, Hany Greisha and Essam Abdeen were freed from pretrial detention on Sunday.

Their release was announced by Diaa Rashwan, the head of the country’s Journalists’ Union, who shared a photo of himself with the trio.

The men were held for about 18 months in different cases involving the misuse of social media and joining a terrorist group, a reference to the now-banned Muslim Brotherhood.

They have been released pending the completion of the investigation and could still be tried in court.

Last week, authorities released 41 prisoners, including several prominent writers and activists, from pretrial detention.

Last week, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El Sisi announced the launch of a national “dialogue” about the country's future.

No start date has been set for the process, and its terms of reference and aim were not revealed.

It was widely interpreted to be an attempt by the Egyptian leader to reach out to critics at a time when the country is gripped by an acute economic crisis caused by the Russia-Ukraine war.

The president has also resurrected a presidential committee that reviews cases of pretrial detention. It was created in 2016 but had been dormant until the past two to three years.

On Thursday, the government freed a prominent political activist, Hossam Monis, after he was pardoned by Mr El Sisi. Monis had been serving a four-year sentence for terrorism offences.

Updated: May 01, 2022, 4:28 PM