The undersigned rights groups condemn the execution of three defendants, before yesterday, in case no. 93/2011/Ismailiya plenary military felonies, following a trial before a military court that did not meet fair trial standards. With this, 22 civilians have now been put to death following military trials in just three weeks, a toll unprecedented in Egypt’s modern history.
Files: Capital Punishment
At least 19 civilians were executed within the span of a week, pursuant to sentences given by military courts that do not meet the minimum requirements for fair trials; an increasing number of militant attacks on civilians and military personnel were also recorded during this time.
The undersigned groups condemn the execution, today, of 15 people sentenced to death in case no. 411/2013/Ismailiya plenary felonies, known as the “Officer Tracking Cell” case. This is the latest in a series of death sentences handed down without regard for basic guarantees for a fair trial.
The Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights (EIPR) condemns the ruling by the Military Court of Alexandria on Sunday, in case No. 108/ Felonies, known as the “Planting of Explosive Devices" case. The court sentenced 14 defendants to death, 24 to life imprisonment, 15 to 15 years' imprisonment, and acquitted two defendants. EIPR also condemns the assault on the families of the accused after the verdict was issued.
The undersigned organizations reiterate that the continued issuance of death sentences does not guarantee that justice is served.The organizations call for a retrial of the defendants in this case in a process that respects fair trial standards. They also express their concern over the possibility of issuing additional death sentences this month, as verdicts are expected this month in at least five cases in which the defendants’ case files have already been referred to the Grand Mufti; at least two of these cases are before military courts.
Lawyers at the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights (EIPR) submitted a petition to the public prosecutor on November 15, 2017 (no. 13274/2017/public prosecutor petitions) seeking an inspection of the death row ward of the al-Abaadiya Prison, after the families of three people detained in the ward, sentenced to death for involvement in the shooting at the Abu al-Matamir police station, complained about the prison administration’s treatment of their family members and what they described as the ‘inhumane’ conditions of their confinement for more than three months.
The Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights (EIPR) opposes the death penalty in principle and in all cases without exception, because it constitutes a grave violation of human rights, does not achieve the desired deterrence, and is not enjoined by Islamic law (shari’a) as commonly perceived. This paper explains EIPR’s position against the death penalty in detail and affirms the need to realize justice by ending crime, not life.
The signatory organizations warn that the most recent amendments to the criminal procedures code that were ratified on April 27, 2017 will expedite court procedures related to the administration of the death penalty. Before the amendments were made, it was possible for the Court of Cassation to annul a verdict by a criminal court and order a retrial in front of a different court.
The Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights (EIPR) condemns the verdict issued on Monday 7 August in case no. 8473/2013, before Minya Criminal Court, commonly known as the “Storming Matai Police Station” case, in which 12 defendants were sentenced to death and 119 others were sentenced to life in prison, 110 of which are currently in detention, although not all were present in court.
The signatories condemn all violations of the rights of the defense, and the defendants' right to a fair trial, as stipulated in article 14 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. The forced disappearance of the defendants contravenes article 40 of Egypt’s Penal Code, which stipulates that, “No one shall be arrested or imprisoned except by an order of the competent authorities, and shall be treated in a manner that protects human dignity and may not be harmed physically or morally.”