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El-Sisi pardons 82 jailed ‘youths’

CAIRO: Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi on Thursday pardoned 82 “youths” including a prominent advocate of Islamic reform, following calls to free prisoners swept up in a crackdown, his spokesman said.
El-Sissi, a former army chief who won elections after toppling his predecessor Muhammad Mursi in 2013, had promised to look into pardoning prisoners at a youths’ conference last month.
The pardoned include Islam Al-Behairy, a television show host and Islamic reform advocate sentenced to a year in prison for criticizing canonical religious works, presidency spokesman Alaa Youssef told AFP.
Nashwa el-Hofy, a member of a panel that recommended prisoners for the pardons, said the focus was on “university youths.”
“We focused on those who have a final ruling against them,” she said.
El-Sisi has also pledged that the government would look into revising a protest law that bans all but police sanctioned demonstrations.