Middle East

Egypt pardons 82 young detainees

Egypt has pardoned 82 young detainees, including a former TV host convicted of "defaming religious symbols."

The names of those pardoned Thursday by President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi were compiled by a committee he set up to examine the cases of young detainees who had not been involved in violence.

Members of the committee have said supporters of the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood will not be pardoned. The military overthrew President Mohammed Morsi, who hailed from the Brotherhood, in 2013. El-Sissi, who led his ouster, was elected the following year.

Authorities have detained thousands of people in the last three years, mostly Islamists but also prominent secular activists.

The government has not said how many detainees are being held, but rights groups place the number at between 20,000 and 40,000.