Death penalty

Egyptian legislation provides for at least 78 articles authorizing the use of the death penalty as a punishment for 104 crimes, in a time where the world is heading towards abolishing the death penalty. Egyptian courts witnessed a surge in…

{:en}Geneva, August 2019 “There is no doubt that the respect for human rights and the application of guarantees of fair trial is the higher goal of a developed democratic society that safeguards the rights of citizens, guarantees their equality before…

In the years following July 2013 the judicial authorities began to issue death sentences excessively in cases where civilians were tried before military courts or before extraordinary chambers such as terrorism tribunals in civil courts. During this period, the authorities carried out executions in 13 cases involving acts of political violence, eight of which were before military courts and five cases before civil courts, the last of which was the executing of nine persons in the case commonly known as “the assassination of the Attorney General” which was widely condemned on local and international levels, raising the number of executed persons in more than five years ago to at least 47 people. In which the defendants faced – with the rest of convicts in these cases – gross violations, breaching the most basic standards of fair trial, which must be met, especially in the death penalty cases.

The undersigned rights organizations condemn the Egyptian authorities’ latest spate of executions, with three people executed by hanging on February 13 and another three people hanged less than a week earlier on February 7. The six executions followed fundamentally flawed trials featuring confessions coerced through torture; bringing the total number of political prisoners put to death since July 2013 to 38, with at least another 59 people awaiting execution, having exhausted all appeals.

Egyptian Front for Human Rights, Committee for Justice and the Arab Foundation for Civil and Political Rights call on Egyptian authorities to halt the execution of further death sentences and to establish a moratorium on such punishment until a broad societal dialogue on that matter takes place, in line with Egypt’s international obligations.

Today October 15, six independent rights organizations released a new report as part of the campaign to end capital punishment in Egypt. The report, “Military Execution,” examines the state-sponsored killing of 33 civilians between July 2013 and September 2018, following eight trials in military courts lacking basic due process guarantees, and rife with violations and irregularities. The organizations contributing to the report demand an immediate moratorium on death sentences issued by both civilian and military courts, as a prelude to societal dialogue on the abolition of the death penalty.

The undersigned organizations denounce the ruling on September 24, 2018 to uphold the death sentences of 20 defendants in connection with the 2013 attack on the Kerdasa police station. Egypt’s use of the capital punishment has been escalating at an unprecedented rate, with defendants slated for execution following brazenly unfair trials failing to meet minimum due process standards. The undersigned reaffirm our rejection of the death penalty and renew our calls for an immediate moratorium on mass death sentences in Egypt, and a suspension and review of all death sentences previously issued.

The undersigned rights organizations emphasize that the “unprecedented violations perpetrated by the Egyptian authorities are intensifying the frequency and severity of international condemnations.” Following the High Commissioner for Human Rights and five UN Special Rapporteurs’ condemnation of the unprecedented upsurge…

Within the past three weeks, 23 Egyptians were executed; 22 of them were civilians tried, convicted, and sentenced to death by military tribunal, a toll that is unprecedented in Egypt’s modern history. The well-reported and documented increase in death sentences handed down by Egyptian courts during El-Sisi’s tenure marks a new and alarming escalation. It also highlights a departure from Egyptian judiciary tradition which used capital punishment with a relative degree of caution.