Egypt s president has called for a new parliament to convene on 10 January, more than three years after the old Islamist-dominated chamber was dissolved. Egyptians held the second phase of parliamentary elections in November but critics said voting was undermined by a heavy security crackdown on Islamist and other opposition groups.
President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi issued a decree on Wednesday pardoning two imprisoned journalists from the Al Jazeera English news network as well as youth activists convicted of protesting, according to a presidential spokesman. The detainees are among thousands of people arrested by the authorities over the last two years as part of a crackdown on free speech and dissent. Mr. Sisi s government had faced scrutiny in particular over the cases of the Al Jazeera journalists, members of Egypt s international press corps who were arrested on charges that human rights advocates called ludicrous and who were convicted after trials that appeared free of any incriminating evidence.