The second annual report on the death penalty in Egypt, covering the period from January to December 2018.The report reviews and documents death sentences issued in Egypt throughout 2018 and attempts to analyze patterns of handing down death sentences verdicts by Egyptian courts, tracking quantitative and qualitative shifts in the application of the death penalty—the maximum penalty in criminal law and the only irreversible penalty.
Files: Capital Punishment
The Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights and the Adalah Center for Rights and Freedoms condemn the sudden decision on Wednesday morning, February, to carry out the death sentence against nine people convicted for the assassination of the public prosecutor in case no. 81/2016/High State Security felonies.
For the fourteenth time in the space of a year, the Court of Cassation has upheld death sentences handed down by lower courts, making them final and enforceable. On Sunday, November 25, 2018, the court issued its judgment on case no.
The Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights (EIPR) opposes the death penalty in principle and in all cases without exception. EIPR condemns the Egyptian government’s adherence to the death penalty and urges it to sign and ratify the second optional protocol of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), which seeks a moratorium on the death penalty.
Death row refers to the prison area where inmates sentenced to death are detained. Prisoners are considered to be on death row from the moment they have been sentenced to death for a capital crime in the first instance, until their execution, commutation or release if they have been acquitted, including during the appeal period.
April 2018 ended as one of the worst months for the issuance of death sentences. Most of these were issued in ordinary criminal cases, not political, and in one case, 45 defendants were sentenced to death, leading observers to wonder if criminal judges in Egypt have any sentencing tools at their disposal but the death penalty.
The EIPR urges the president to use the authority imparted to him by the law to substitute the death sentence with a less severe punishment until the petition to reopen the case is considered. The president has previously commuted a death sentence against Mohammed Hussein on 22 January 2017.
The Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights criticized the parliament for approving a government-submitted bill by a two-thirds majority vote in its general session on Tuesday, March 6. The bill amends provisions of the Penal Code (Law 58/1937) to stiffen penalties on persons convicted of the possession, importation, or manufacture of explosives. According to media sources, the bill introduces the death penalty for one of the crimes set forth.
This series of reports aims to shed light on the provisions of the death penalty and act as a reference for preliminary information on this penalty in Egypt in light of the relative scarcity of such information, as part of the effort and campaign to abolish the death penalty in Egypt. The report will also monitor patterns of human rights violations in some capital punishment cases throughout the year, which in itself constitutes a violation of the right to life.
The report is divided into two chapters: the first includes factual information on some cases in which death sentences were handed out and upheld during 2017; the second identifies patterns of human rights violations which some of the defendants sentenced to the death in praesentia faced in the course of trial proceedings.