Middle East

Mothers react to Mursi's Egypt uprising pardons

Egypt's President Mohammed Mursi has pardoned all those arrested during the events of the Egyptian revolution.

The decree could lead to the release of several thousand people from detention, although the names of those affected have not yet been made public.

The pardon applies to all those arrested from 25 January 2011, the first day of the revolution, until 30 June 2012, when Mr Mursi took office.

Here the mothers of two detained teenagers tell the BBC in Cairo their reaction to the news.

Heba Abd Al-Halim, mother of Mohaned Samir, Cairo

Image caption Mohaned Samir: His mother is not that impressed by the pardon

Heba Abd Al-Halim's 18-year-old son, Mohaned Samir, was arrested on 9 January this year.

She said: "He was going to give a witness statement about an officer who shot him in the leg and killed his friend Ramy Al-Sharqawy. They detained him then.

"This [decision] has come very late. My son's case is due in court on 20 October and he was going to be released."

She questioned whether a pardon could be given when, as she argued, no crime had been committed.

"On what basis can you pardon me? What will happen to the court case now?

"Mursi kept the case of the detainees until the end of his first 100 days so that people would be talking about this achievement, because what are the achievements of the 100 days?

"I'm happy because he's going to be freed, but upset that he has been pardoned and not declared innocent.

"He was injured on 20 December by a bullet in his leg. What about the 10 months of his life in prison? What should we do about these?"

"I'm going to visit him tomorrow and I usually visit him every week. He wants to come out… he's been feeling down."

Azza Zaky, known as Um Karim (Mother of Karim), Cairo

Image caption There have been calls for many of the prisoners to be freed

Azza Zaky's 19-year-old son, Karim Al-Suweisy, was arrested on 28 December 2011 during the aftermath of the clashes at the cabinet buildings in the capital.

His mother said he was arrested at a cafe following testimony by a witness who accused him of taking part in the clashes. The family had spent much of their savings on lawyers' fees.

She said: "May God bless [President] Mursi and strengthen him. And may God help him with the rest of the issues.

"We've been through a very difficult year. His father earns a low salary and we don't have much money. We even thought about selling our apartment.

"They tortured him and beat him and electrocuted him in prison.

"When he was arrested we looked for him for 40 days.

"But is this decree real? Can I be comforted by this or not? There have been a lot of decrees already.

"The government [the police] came after he was arrested and took some of his clothes and his computer and they treated us badly.

"They came at 03:00 and they wrecked the apartment. They took his technical school certificate.

"About 20 vehicles came - you should have seen it, as if he was a terrorist.

"He had never been arrested before. He had never even spent a night in the police station."