May 21, 2019
Egypt’s top prosecutor has ordered the release of five prominent opposition figures who have been held since August, lawyers said on Monday.
The five, including former diplomat Masoum Marzouk, were detained after calling for a popular referendum on President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi’s government.
According to Ali, Marzouk’s lawyer, two other defendants in the case, Sameh Seoudi and Amr Mohamed, were not included in Monday’s decision.
The ruling has been issued pending further investigation, and the five have had a travel ban placed upon them, according to local media.
Ahram, a government-owned newspaper, quoted a security source as saying: “The decision came in response to human rights calls and appeals by families to release the defendants.”
Marzouk, 73, has been detained in solitary confinement since August, when he publicly called for a referendum, the release of political prisoners, the formation of a transitional governing council to replace Sisi, and a ten-year ban on political candidacy for anyone who served in government or parliament over the past decade.
In March, Marzouk’s wife wrote an appeal to the public prosecutor, condemning her husband’s solitary confinement and warning that he was “dying in prison”.