Egypt frees investment banker after four years in detention

Officials in Egypt announced on Monday that an investment banker who had been held in pretrial detention for more than four years on charges of attempting to “overthrow the state” has been released.

“Including Omar el-Shenety… 33 have been released from pretrial detention today,” lawyer Tarek al-Awady, a member of the presidential pardon committee, wrote on Twitter.

Among those listed were lawyer Youssef Mansour and content creator Ahmed Hassanein.

Shenety, an economist and founder of the investment firm Multiples Group, was apprehended in June 2019 along with several opposition figures who were getting ready to contest the 2020 parliamentary elections under the banner of the “Hope Coalition.”

Journalists Hossam Moniss and Hisham Fuad, along with former lawmaker Zyad el-Elaimy, were among the individuals detained in that case who were released last year.

They were charged with aiding the banned Muslim Brotherhood group and financing a conspiracy to “overthrow the state and its institutions.”

The Egyptian Center for Economic and Social Rights stated that Shenety is an “distinguished economic researcher and financial consultant” who has been involved in diverse business ventures, including Alef Bookstores. The bookstore was forced to close in 2019 due to accusations of ties with the Muslim Brotherhood.

The recent declaration on Monday is part of a sequence of prominent releases, which also encompassed researcher Patrick Zaki and human rights lawyer Mohamed al-Baqer. Both Zaki and al-Baqer were granted presidential pardons last month.

Starting from April of the previous year, officials have freed around 1,000 political detainees amidst significant attention, yet simultaneously arrested nearly 3,000 additional individuals, as reported by Egyptian human rights observers.

Cairo has faced recurrent condemnation for its human rights reputation, with numerous rights organizations noting the incarceration of tens of thousands of political detainees, which includes journalists, lawyers, trade unionists, and artists.

This year, the government initiated a “national dialogue” aimed at involving an opposition that has suffered severe setbacks over the past decade due to a crackdown following President Sisi’s removal of his predecessor, Mohamed Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood, following widespread protests.

Scroll to Top