Suspended Executions: Violations of the rights of defendants pending execution in cases of political violence (2013 – 2020)
Egyptian Front has published a report: “Suspended Executions” to highlight on violations of the rights of defendants pending execution in cases of political violence, between years 2013 to 2020.
ِِAt these times, the execution wheel is spinning once again in Egypt, claiming lives in cases that lack the most basic guarantees for a fair trial while dozens more are convicted in similar cases and awaiting execution at any time. The imposition and implementation of death sentences accelerated in Egypt after the military coup against former President Mohamed Mursi in August 2013. The Egyptian civil and military courts issued no less than 2,966 death sentences from June 2013 until the end of the 2019 in cases of both a criminal background and others containing incidents of political violence, according to reports published by the Egyptian Front for Human Rights
Since August 2013 and until the moment of writing this report, executions have been carried out against at least 72 people in cases with a political nature taking into account local and international demands to stop issuing death sentences or enforcing their implementation, given the fact that these cases were marred by gross violations of human rights and clear violations of fair trial standards, which UN experts have described them as amounting to arbitrary execution.
According to observations and monitoring made by the Egyptian Front for Human Rights (EFHR), The death sentence was issued against 80 individuals who are currently divided into 14 cases, 77 of whom were tried before civil criminal courts and the penalty against them was upheld by the court of cassation. The remaining three were convicted by a military court and the verdict was upheld by the Supreme Military Court. They face final death sentences that can be carried out at any moment, while the trials they underwent were marred by violations of fair trial guarantees. As EFHR reviewed the official documents of most of these cases, we found that a large number of the defendants were subjected to grave violations such as enforced disappearance, torture, deferment in referring to forensic medicine, initiation of investigations without the presence of a lawyer, and the court’s reliance on anonymous investigations as evidence.
This report aims at highlighting the human rights violations that have marred cases of execution since August 2013, which are relating to incidents of political violence. Out of 14 cases in which the death sentences were upheld against 80 persons, the Egyptian Front was only able to obtain the documents of 9 cases, with a total of 47 individuals awaiting execution. The methodology of this report relies on analyzing the official documents of the 9 cases as the EFHR studied the arrest warrants, referral orders, investigation records before the prosecution, forensic reports, and the verdicts.
This report is divided into three parts. In the first part, we provide a background of the ten main cases that are analyzed in this report, starting from the incident upon which each case is based, then we go through the chronology of the cases followed by the verdicts issued therein. In the second part, we review the patterns of human rights violations that marred these cases, including enforced disappearance, torture, and the prosecution’s deferment in bringing the defendants to forensic medicine, initiating investigations without the presence of a lawyer, and relying on investigations by unknown sources. Finally, we review an overview of the conditions of 11 people who support the death penalty and are awaiting execution at any moment.