Update Alert: Egypt – Al-Shater excluded from presidential pardon despite serving half his sentence

1. Summary
2. Background

1. Summary

Khairat Al-Shater, Deputy Chairman of the Muslim Brotherhood, who has served a total number of 10 years in different prisons in Egypt, was excluded from the presidential pardon along with other MB leaders, issued in commemoration of the ‘July 23rd revolution’.

Having served half their sentences, Khairat al-Shater and many other political detainees are entitled to be released. Furthermore, they are also entitled to be released on serious health grounds.  

2. Background

A presidential pardon ensures that all detainees are entitled to release, so long as half of their prison sentence is served. However authorities have denied the MB members their constitutional rights and continued to detain them. The MB leaders were issued sentences ranging from 3-10 years despite numerous acquittals from civilian courts.

The exclusion of those detainees illustrates the system’s suppressive policies against political opposition. The MB prisoners were tried by the Military Court which is in itself contradictory to the law, constitution and international conventions ratified by Egypt.

The MB defense team accused the government for applying double standard on prisoners, as the pardon excluded political prisoners while only releasing prisoners serving criminal sentences.

No evidence was presented against Al-Shater during the initial hearing and the criminal court had thrown out the case. However by the request of Hosni Mubarak, al-Shater and other prominent members of the MB were tried before military courts.

Due to severe prison conditions, the detainees are currently suffering from deteriorating health which requires their immediate release. The lawyers highlighted that no evidence was brought forward against them and in fact there had been numerous court acquittals issued by Civilian court, clearing them of all the charges leveled against them.

IHRC urges the Egyptian authorities to immediately release the detainees, and abstain from using the Emergency Law for trying civilians in military courts.

For further background information including prior IHRC alerts on the case of Khairat al-Shater, please visit the following links:


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“And what reason have you that you should not fight in the way of Allah and of the weak among the men and the women and the children, (of) those who say: Our Lord! Cause us to go forth from this town, whose people are oppressors, and give us from Thee a guardian and give us from Thee a helper.”
Holy Qur’an: Chapter 4, Verse 75

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