The pardons, announced Monday by Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi, affect anyone who committed "crimes committed to support the revolution," between Jan. 25, 2011, and Morsi's inauguration on June 30, Egypt's official government gazette al-Wakaei al-Masryia reported Tuesday.
Rights groups have pressured the Egyptian government for 18 months to release political prisoners.
Anyone who committed murder is not included in the pardon.
The decree said a list of those pardoned will be published within a month by the prosecutor general and the military attorney general. Those whose names are not included on the list will be able to file a petition requesting to be added.
Mohamed Gadallah, Morsi's legal consultant, said the pardon includes military officers arrested for participating in pro-revolution protests, Ahram Online reported.
The pardon was generally well received, but the head of No to Military Trials for Civilians, Mona Seif, said it didn't go far enough.
"Citizens who have been unjustly tried by military courts over a fight or children arrested for non-political reasons are not included in that pardon," she said.
Those arrested during recent clashes at the U.S. Embassy also will not be released, she added.