Egypt to release 1,000 imprisoned since Sadat assassination

Special to World
Monday, October 6, 2003

CAIRO Egypt has completed preparations for the release of up to 1,000 members of the Gamiat Islamiya.

Officials said the release of the Gamiat detainees will take place on Monday. They said the release will mark the 1973 Arab-Israeli war, which Egypt claims to have won.

This would mark the largest release of detained insurgents in Egypt and comes amid a government campaign to demonstrate reform and liberalization.

Officials said all of the Gamiat members have renounced violence.

Those released will comprise mostly second-tier members of Gamiat. But officials said several members of the group's Shura, or consultative council will be released. These members had been serving 22 years for their link to the 1981 assassination of Egyptian President Anwar Sadat.

Last week, Gamiat leader Karam Zohdi and two members of the Shura council were released from prison. The council members were identified as Fuad Aldualibi and Issam Abdul Majid. Officials several scores of Gamiat members were also released from a range of Egyptian prisons.

The Gamiat declared a unilateral ceasefire in 1997 after its attack on tourists in the resort of city of Luxor. Officials said Egyptian authorities hope to release virtually all repentant Gamiat members from prison by the end of 2003.

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