53 persons executed in October 2020: The number of executions carried out in October exceeds the annual total of executions carried out for year of the past three years
Over the past three years, and since the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights (EIPR) began counting death sentences and executions, in addition to analyzing evolving patterns in the state's use of the most severe punishment in the Egyptian Penal Code, the EIPR has expressed on more than one occasion growing concern about the steady rise in death sentences issued, and in the number of people sentenced to death in a single case - in addition to the total number of death sentences issued by Egyptian courts in a single year.
On more than one occasion, the Egyptian Initiative called on the Egyptian government to retreat from this excessive use of capital punishment and to commit to the proposal submitted by the Egyptian mission at the 36th session of the Human Rights Council to suspend the death penalty - even if temporarily - until an expanded societal discussion on the use and possible abolition of the penalty is conducted. Despite these calls, the reality of capital punishment in Egypt is worsening every day..
By the end of October 2020, the justice system in Egypt had carried out the largest number of executions (in different cases of a varying nature) since it began its expansion of the application of death penalty in the last five years. A total of 53 people were executed during the course of October, the last of these executions took place on October 28 when four convicts were executed in a judgement related to the killing of 17 people in a nightclub fire in Agouza.
Press sources had confirmed the execution of 34 defendants in various criminal cases between Tuesday, October 6 and Tuesday, October 13, while two people were executed on October 3 in Case No. 20091 of 2013 commonly referred to as "The Events of the Library of Alexandria”. And despite the lack of press coverage of any other executions in the same month, EIPR verified from a legal source involved in one case that the Cairo Appeals Prison on October 4, 2020 executed 10 people in Case No. 103 of 2014 State Security, often referred to as the "Ajnad Masr Case", and that three people were executed in the same prison facility in Case No. 12749 of 2013/Giza Felonies commonly referred to as the "assault on Kerdasa Police Station case."
A timeline for the executions of October 2020
Two convicts were executed in Case No. 20091 of 2013/ BabSharq Felonies, commonly referred to in the media as "the events of the Library of Alexandria" and the defendants whose death sentence was carried out are: Yasser Al-Abasiri Abdel-Naim and Yasser Abdel-Samad Mohamed Abdel-Fattah, (also known as Yasser Shukr).
Eight convicts were executed in Burg Al Arab prison, west of Alexandria. The bodies were transferred to the Kom al-Dikka morgue in central Alexandria. Media sources did not provide any other details about the executed.
Ten convicts were executed in Cairo Appeals Prison in Case No. 103 of 2014/State Security Felonies, commonly known as "Ajnad Masr" case.
Three convicts were executed in Cairo Appeals Prison in Case No. 12749 of 2013/Giza Felonies, commonly known as "assault on Kerdasa Police Station” case.
Seven defendants convicted in separate criminal cases were executed inside Burg Al Arab prison in Alexandria, and the bodies were transferred to the Kom Dikka morgue. The names of the individuals executed were: Osama Al-Saadawi, Muhammad Ahmed, Ahmed Abdel-Rahman, Saber Muhammad, Abdel-Tawab Hassan, Hamid Abdel-Ati and Walid Shaban.
Eight defendants convicted in various criminal cases were executed in Minya maximum-security prison, their names were : Ahmed Abdulrahman Ali, guarded behind Abdalenaim, Haitham Ahmed Montasser Ahmed, Iman Abu Dahab Ahmed Mahrous, Afifi Mohamed Shafei, Ahmed Salah al - Din Mahmoud, Rami Hamid, Mohamed Ahmed Jaber . The bodies of the executed from the first to the fourth were transferred to the morgue of the Minya Fever Hospital, and the bodies of the executed from the fifth to the last were transferred to the morgue of the Minya General Hospital.
Four persons were executed in the case of the killing of 17 people in a nightclub fire in Agouza. The names of the individuals executed were: Muhammad Imad Muhammad Ali (18 years old), Muhammad Abd al-Rahman Zaki Abd al-Rahman (19 years old), Muhammad Gamal (19 years old), and Mahmoud Saeed, according to the media sources.
The EIPR reiterates its position - one that it has consistently communicated to the legislative and judicial authorities since 2016 - which is that handing down and implementing wholesale death sentences, at this progressive pace, does not achieve justice and is not deterrent to crime. The “dilution” of the punishment’s percieved effect can be an accidental byproduct of this excessive and disproportionate overuse of the death penalty
The most effective deterrent to crime, we maintain, is not in the maximisation of penalties and increasing recourse to them, but is more likely to come from improving the efficiency of criminal response, investigation as well as accountability. This involves efficiently trying and punishing real perpetrators of specifically defined crimes in fair and transparent trials.It also requires activating accountability procedures for state authorities for any wrongdoing as well as for failure to ensure the non-repetition of wrongdoing and failure to demonstrate actual decline in crime over the long term.
*update: while this statement was under publication, three more executions were carried out by prison authorities on the dates of the 1st, 2nd and 3rd of November*