One is free, one is pending, and dozens are confirmed to remain behind bars. With them are others in the thousands.
But the two individuals need special hoops to bypass the system. An Australian journalist is released after a year plus in prison due to a recently passed law permitting deportation of foreigners on trial. His Canadian dual-national partner is forfeiting Egyptian citizenship to qualify for the same.
God it is sad. It is sad freedom comes so as to clean up a problem of international image. It is sad a man must deny his country to escape a system that created it in the first place. It is sad so many people are imprisoned. It is sad the image problem transfers to the justice institution as a whole.
Of course, many in jail are guilty. Some are guilty of terrorism. Some are guilty of rioting. Some are guilty of violating a protest law many believe is flawed, but is the law all the same.
But some are innocent, swept up in the crackdown. Others are peaceful, swept up in the violence. Court decisions have included acquittals, but when mass sentences are issued the attention to individual justice is questioned.
God, let justice come through the system and not in its circumvention. Let justice be clear and not subject to politicized accusations. Let justice establish the truth of these past four years.
And if the institution of justice must be adjusted to achieve this, God, give Egypt the will to enact necessary reform. If the system itself is fine, God, give Egypt judges of conviction who will honor both law and conscience.
Save Egypt from the despair of doubt and the abyss of cynicism. These will destroy a nation’s foundation. But if manipulation of justice is institutionalized there is no foundation to begin with.
Help Egypt rebuild, God, both the pillars of the state and the reputation of the same. May society be free, though the verdict is pending. May it issue in justice, only justice, and protect the freedom her people seek.