New Delhi, February 3 According to reports reaching here, Ikhwanul Muslemeen Deputy Murshide A’am Khairat Al Shater and other Ikhwan leader and businessman Hassan Malek were released on February 2 from Tora Prison after four years following an announcement by the Egyptian authorities a few days ago.
Several human rights organizations, including the International Human Rights Commission (IHRC), campaigning for their release for some years, had welcomed the Egyptian authorities’ decision and called for the release of thousands of other political detainees imprisoned under the Emergency law and abolishment of military courts used against civilians.
The ageing renowned Ikhwan leader, Khairat Al Shater, had suffered numerous health setbacks during his detention, the latest being a heart attack after engaging in an argument with prison officials who refused to allow the group exercise before the former and currently imprisoned corrupt Interior Minister Habib el Adly finished his exercise session.
The family of Al Shater had expressed their deep concern and held the Supreme Council for Armed Forces (SCAF) responsible for Al Shater’s deteriorating condition. Besides, the families of the political detainees, including Al Shater, Hassan Malek and Dr Osama Soliman also organized a protest march on March 2 in front of the Ministry of Defence and submitted a statement to the SCAF, which assured that they would receive a response within 48 hours.
Egypt still had thousands of political detainees imprisoned under the Emergency law. Al Shater had spent a total number of 12 years in Egyptian prisons. He was excluded from the presidential pardon along with other Ikhwan leaders despite completing half their sentence, which in Egyptian law would make them eligible for Presidential pardon. Al Shater and Hassan Malek were issued release orders following a harsh military sentence ranged from 5 to 7 years. Earlier, the two detainees were acquitted by a civilian court but referred to military tribunal by the then President Hosni Mubarak.
He was imprisoned along with many other influential Ikhwan leaders and student members on December 14, 2006 in connection with an incident which took place on December 10, 2006. On that day many student members of Ikhwan carried out a demonstration to protest against the government involvement in student union elections. Ikhwan was accused of forming a secret militia and equipping student members with combat training and weapons.