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.
Tags: Against the Death Penalty
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.
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.
EIPR reasserts that the increasing use of death sentences by the Egyptian state as a form of punishment in cases of terrorism or cases labeled as ‘political,’ following trials that do not meet the standards of a fair trial, is far from being a seemingly efficient method of facing violence.
In March 2014, a first-instance court in Minya issued a preliminary decision sentencing 529 people to death. In April of the same year, the same court issued a preliminary decision sentencing 683 people to death. Preliminary death sentences are not final until approved by the Mufti of Egypt and then the criminal court finally confirms them (while it still retains discretion to change the verdict after it has been approved by the Mufti).