See also Egypt Letter: Returning to Mubarak's Prisons (Alaa) br>
Libya Special: Creating Armies out of Militias (Sheridan) br>
Libya Special: National Transitional Council Struggles to Remain the "Good Guys" (Malone) br>
Syria Special: Should We Treat Calls for a No-Fly Zone Seriously? (Zenko)
Field Marshal Mohamed Hussein Tantawi, the head of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, giving no details of who would be pardoned or when, said the releases would support "continued communication with the great Egyptian people and the youth of the revolution".
Human rights groups estimate that more than 12,000 civilians have been processed by military tribunals this year. This week brought international attention to the detentions with the military court's order to hold blogger and activist Alaa Abd-El Fattah (see separate entry).
1945 GMT: Claimed footage from Al Dair in Bahrain this evening, as protesters chant, "The martyr said, 'I sacrificed my soul to my country'" and "We will sacrifice our blood and souls to the martyrs":