Egypt released six activists on Sunday, including journalist and blogger Esraa Abdel Fattah, one of the symbols of the 2011 revolution.
The release comes just days after the United States criticized human rights abuses in Egypt. However, it came as a surprise when the Egyptian public prosecutor’s office ordered the release of Esraa Abdel Fattah, 43, on Saturday night. She was in pretrial detention for approximately 22 months.
Activist and lawyer Mahienour Al-Masry, journalist Moataz Wadan, writer Gamal El-Gamal, politician Abdel Nasser Ismail and journalist Mustafa El-Assar were also released. A lawyer representing them and a judicial source informed the news agency of this Reuters. The lawyer added that the charges against them are still pending.
The Egyptian authorities did not comment on the release of activists and journalists. The state media in Egypt confirmed their release.
Since President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi came to power in 2014, there has been a brutal crackdown on all forms of dissent, from both Islamists and liberals. Analysts say the release of the six is a sign of reassurance to the international community after criticism from Washington. The United States this week warned against targeting human rights activists. The United States will take this into account in the ongoing negotiations on arms sales between the two countries.
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