Egypt ordered the release Dec. 26 of the leader of the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood and 38 other religious and political figures jailed in a sweeping crackdown last September by slain President Anwar Sadat.
Among those released were 7 other members of the outlawed brotherhood, 9 Coptic Christians, 2 left-wing journalists, and several political -figures.
It was the third group of prisoners to be freed by President Hosni Mubarak. The government already had released 48 political figures. Observers say this policy has won Mr. Mubarak wide sympathy.