Egyptian presidents have traditionally pardoned groups of prisoners on national and religious holidays
Egyptian Prisoners released on Friday July 17, 2015 follwoing a presidential decree on the occasion of Eid Al-Fitr
Egypt's interior ministry released 424 pardoned prisoners on Friday and also conditionally released 101 others, state news as reported.
On Sunday President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi issued a decree pardoning the prisoners to mark both the occasion of Eid Al-Fitr, which begins on Friday, and the 63rd anniversary of the 1952 revolution on 26 July.
Presidential spokesperson Alaa Youssef had said that those eligible for the pardon would include inmates who had served 15 years in jail prior to 25 January 2015. The pardon also includes prisoners who have served half of their prison terms, if those terms are longer than six months.
Pardoned prisoners will be on parole for five years, under the terms of the Egyptian penal code.
Prisoners released conditionally will be on parole for the entirety of the remainder of their sentence.
Prisoners who have committed certain crimes were ineligible for pardon, including felonies and misdemeanours that harm the government internally or externally, and crimes related to explosives, bribes, forgery, obstructing traffic, possessing weapons and ammunition, drugs, and illegal profiteering.
Egyptian presidents have traditionally pardoned groups of prisoners on national and religious holidays.