Sadat's nephew negotiates way out for Egypt prisoners

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The fate of dissidents languishing in Egypt's prisons has long been under scrutiny, but Mohamed al-Sadat, the nephew of former president Anwar al-Sadat, is leveraging his political prowess in a bid to have them released.

Sadat has become an unofficial negotiator advocating on behalf of figures imprisoned under the uncompromising administration of Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi.

"Recently we have been successful in using a style and language that is well-received, and thus these cases and positions [of the prisoners] have been studied and reviewed, leading to their successful [release]," said Mohamed.

At least 60,000 political prisoners are serving time in Egyptian jails, according to human rights defenders.

Forty-six prisoners were freed in July, including prominent activists such as rights lawyer Mahienour el-Massry.

"Foreign pressure and what is issued by the Congress, the European Parliament and the International Council for Human Rights are all taken into consideration. And we, as politicians, as a government and as a civil society have to study their observations and advice, but we must determine what is consistent with our national security and with the law," said Mohamed.

Those jailed for criticizing the political status quo have included academics, journalists, lawyers, activists, comedians, Islamists, presidential candidates, and MPs.

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