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Egyptian President Pardons a Thousand Protesters
October 8, 2012

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All Egyptians arrested or convicted of crimes linked to the revolution against former President Hosni Mubarak are now free, according to a blanket pardon issued by current President Mohamed Morsi. In a sign of the times, the pardon was published on Morsi's official Facebook page.

The pardon directs the military prosecutor and the prosecutor general to compile a list of names of those who could be freed or have their records revised, with the exception of those accused of first-degree murder. The pardon has official dates attached to it: from January 25, 2011, to June 30, 2012. Estimates are that the president's directive could benefit more than 1,000 protesters, including military officers who took part in anti-government protests.

The timetable for compilation of the list is for one month. No timetable for release was announced.

Morsi announced the pardon on his 100th day in office as the first freely elected president of Egypt in modern times. The military has either directly or indirectly played a large part in the selection of Egyptian rulers in the past several decades.

Some observers pointed out that the pardon specifically mentions pro-revolution protesters, suggesting that anyone arrested for non-political reasons would not benefit from similar treatment. A large protest calling for the protesters' immediate release was planned for later in the week.

 
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