The head of a committee formed to research detainees' files has promised Egyptians that the relatives of people held in military prisons since the 25 January uprising will hear "heartwarming" news before the start of Ramadan next week.
The Committee to Research Detainees' Files was formed by President Mohamed Morsy to investigate the status of civilians detained by the military between 25 January 2011 and the handover of power on June 30 2012.
It includes staff from the Interior Ministry, the military judiciary and the public prosecution, as well as civil society and revolutionary representatives.
In the committee's first press conference on Saturday, Judge Mohamed al-Mahdi said that it was established to make sure that no citizen remains detained without cause or evidence.
The committee investigates the status of each person separately, he added.
“I promise you that before the start of Ramadan you will hear news that will warm the heart of Egyptian society and calm anxiety for children and parents in custody," Mahdi said.
He suggested changing the committee's name to "Protectors of the Egyptian Citizen's Personal Freedom,” saying that that is what it will do.
Omar Moawad, a committee member, said that it held the press conference “in an attempt to deliver its voice to citizens, so they can provide us with information and data on civilians prosecuted [in military courts] since the beginning of the revolution.”
Mahmoud Fawzi Abdel Bari, another member, said the military judiciary has told them that the number of civilians detained in military prisons since 25 January 2011 is 11,879. Of these, 9,714 prisoners have been acquitted, pardoned or given suspended sentences. This leaves 2,165 in military prisons, and the status of these citizens is currently being examined by the committee.
He said the committee is working every day, has branches in six governorates, and is ready to receive citizens' complaints.
According to MENA, the committee includes the deputy attorney general, the state security prosecution attorney, Interior Minister deputies for the for prison service and general security, deputy head of the military judiciary and four representatives of civil society and the revolutionary youths: Ahmed Saif al-Islam, Mohamed Ali Zarea, Ali Kamal Mostafa and Islam Lotfi Ali.
The state news wire said that it will also examine the cases of revolutionaries sentenced by cibilian courts.
Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm