An Egyptian lawyer outside Egypt said on Tuesday that authorities issued release orders to dozens of jailed opposition members, including those from the Muslim Brotherhood in Cairo and Alexandria.
“The available information from Alexandria states that judicial release orders were issued in the past few days for 62 to 72 opposition members (from the Muslim Brotherhood),” Adala Foundation for Human Rights Director Mahmoud Jaber told Anadolu Agency.
He said as of Tuesday, some Muslim Brotherhood group affiliates were released, including Hosni Jebril, one of the group’s clerics, while others are waiting for a security check after which they could be released.
Muslim Brotherhood sources last week told Anadolu Agency there are initial orders to release dozens of the group’s members in Alexandria.
Jaber said that others in Cairo were released, including opposition figure Majdi Hussein and journalist Sulafa Majdi.
Jaber noted, however, that despite a breakthrough in cases of jailed opposition figures, there are still members being arrested.
Human rights groups outside Egypt said on Monday that authorities executed 17 Egyptians they claimed were involved in the killing of 13 policemen in 2013 in the case that is known as the Kerdasa massacre. But Egypt announced it executed nine defendants who were convicted in the case.
Meanwhile, Egypt announced on Monday a presidential pardon for 2,674 prisoners on the occasion of liberating the eastern Sinai peninsula.
Jaber noted that it is still unclear whether the pardon will include political prisoners.
Authorities have yet to comment but repeatedly said no political prisoners are held in Egyptian prisons — a claim rejected by rights groups.
Following the ouster of former President Mohammed Morsi in 2013, authorities persecuted Muslim Brotherhood members and leaders and outlawed the group.
*Ahmed Asmar contributed to this report from Ankara