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Egypt president Morsi pardons political prisoners

Published on Oct 9, 2012 6:48 AM
This handout picture taken and released by the Egyptian President's office on early Oct 7, 2012, shows President Mohamed Morsi waving at the crowd as he delivers his speech to the nation in Cairo Stadium, in Cairo, to mark the 39th anniversary of the Yom Kippur war against Israel. -- PHOTO: AFP

CAIRO (REUTERS) - Egypt's President Mohamed Morsi pardoned on Monday all political prisoners detained since the start of protests that toppled Hosni Mubarak last year.

The pardon covers citizens facing trial and those serving jail sentences except for those convicted of murder, the presidential spokesman said, but did not give a specific number for the pardoned prisoners.

Activists have said that thousands of civilians ended up in army courts in the security vacuum that followed the fall of Mubarak in 2011. The campaign group No to Military Trials had said at least 5,000 political prisoners were still in jail.

Many of those jailed were arrested in the protests that erupted during the 18 months an interim military government was in charge in Egypt under the leadership of Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi. Some prisoners have even been tried since Dr Morsi took office in June.

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