Interior Ministry releases 338 inmates on occasion of 1982 ‘Sinai liberation’

Major General Hatem Abu Zeid, head of public relations for prisons, has announced that 338 prisoners were released on Thursday in celebration of the return of Sinai to Egypt in April 1982. Over the three decades since Israel handed the territory back – an event known in Egypt as the "Sinai Libaration" – a total to 6414 prisoners have been released from Egyptian jails in celebration of the event.

Those released on Thursday were included within the Interior Ministry's post-uprising amnesty offer for inmates who had served at least half their sentences with good behavior. The sector administration, according to Abu Zeid, convenes weekly to review the files of inmates and decide who will be released.

Observers blame some of the prison chaos during the revolution on a declaration from former Interior Minister Mahmoud Wagdy that inmates who had escaped and who had served half of their sentences would be granted amnesty. However, the ministry has since said that the decision did not apply to all inmates.

Official reports recently found that some Interior Ministry officials were involved in opening prisons on 28 January and allowing prisoners to flee in an attempt to create chaos in the absence of security forces.

Translated from the Arabic Edition

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