Attorney general orders release of prominent Islamic Jihad figure

Egyptian security authorities on Monday released Nabil al-Maghraby, Egypt’s longest standing political prisoner, following a pardon issued by the attorney general. 

Maghraby, now 70 years old, is a leading figure in Islamist Jihad. He was arrested in September 1979 during a string of arrests of opposition Islamists by security forces and was a harsh critic of the late President Anwar Sadat. He spent nearly 31 years as an inmate in various Egyptian prisons.

Security sources said Maghraby was released Monday evening after the attorney general issued a pardon and dropped all sentences against him. The Egyptian government after the 25 January revolution has begun releasing political prisoners.

Maghraby was among the names of those suspected of assassinating Sadat on 6 October 1981. He was sentenced to life imprisonment two years prior to the assassination.

Maghraby received additional sentences leading to a total sentence of 53 years in prison. In 1986, he was sentenced for a second time to an additional three years following a prison break, even though he did not participate in the escape.

In 1994, he was sentenced for an additional 25 years, while still in prison, for allegedly plotting against the Egyptian regime.

Maghraby suffers from health complications associated with his age and his time in prison. He suffers from malnutrition and lack of medical care, in addition to overcrowded conditions in Egyptian prison.

In 2009, Maghraby filed a complaint before the Administrative Court against the attorney general and the interior minister, calling for an amnesty due to his worsening health condition. However, the court did not respond, despite the fact that other prisoners had been released for health reasons.

Translated from the Arabic Edition

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