150 members and four leaders of Al Gama'a Al Islamiya were released from prison on Tuesday by Egyptian authorities. The group had carried out an armed struggle against the Egyptian government in the 1980s and 1990s in an attempt to establish an Islamic state, but has since renounced all violence, Egyptian security officials stated.
One of the freed leaders, Fouad El Dowaliby, was given a life sentence for his involvement in the assassination of Egyptian President Anwar Sadat in 1981.
The three other leaders were also serving life sentences for their involvement with the Islamic Jihad group. The three, according to Reuters, were identified as Hassan Al Gharabawy, Nageh Ibrahim, and Safwat Abdel Ghani.
A source from Al Gama'a revealed that Ibrahim was one of the group's leaders responsible for the decision to renounce violence.
Last month, authorities released a senior member of the Muslim Brotherhood, Egypt's largest opposition force, who had been held in custody since May.
Tuesday's release comes in the wake of a similar move on the part of Egypt's government over the past two years to free hundreds of detainees after they had publicly denounced violence and called on their followers to follow suit.