Egypt pardons hundreds of people jailed for demonstrating

An Egyptian anti-military demonstrator runs for cover from tear gas fired by riot police during clashes in Tahrir square in Cairo on November 19, 2013: (Mohamed El-Shahed/AFP)
Updated 16 May 2018
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Egypt pardons hundreds of people jailed for demonstrating

  • Officials say 332 people were pardoned, most of them convicted and imprisoned for breaking a controversial law that prohibits unapproved demonstrations

CAIRO: Egypt’s President Abdel-Fatah El-Sisi has pardoned more than 330 young people, most of them convicted and jailed for their participation in illegal protests.
The announcement came in a tweet on Wednesday.
Officials say 332 people were pardoned, most of them convicted and imprisoned for breaking a controversial law that prohibits unapproved demonstrations.
They say secular activists Andrew Nassef of the unofficial leftist Bread and Freedom Party, and Islam Fouad of the opposition Dostour (Constitution) party were among those pardoned.
The officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to brief reporters, say both Nassef and Fouad were sentenced for illegal protesting.
Egypt outlawed all unauthorized protests in 2013 after the military overthrew an Islamist president amid mass protests against his divisive rule.


Iraq’s top court ratifies manual recount of May ballots

Updated 39 min 49 sec ago
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Iraq’s top court ratifies manual recount of May ballots

  • The court decision paves the way for president to summon lawmakers to an inaugural session
  • Political wrangling over who gets to be prime minister will likely delay the process

BAGHDAD: Iraq’s top court has ratified the results of the country’s May parliamentary elections following a manual ballot recount ordered by the outgoing chamber following charges of irregularities.
The Federal Court’s decision on Sunday paves the way for the president to summon lawmakers to an inaugural session of the new, 329-seat house. In theory, parliament should then proceed to elect a speaker, a president and a prime minister, who will in turn form a new government.
However, political wrangling over who gets to be prime minister will likely delay the process for weeks, maybe months.
A coalition led by maverick Shiite cleric Muqtada Al-Sadr won the largest number of seats, 54, followed by an alliance of government-sanctioned militias known as Hashed, with 47.