Leading members of the Muslim Brotherhood, including former MP Nasser Al-Hafy and Abdelfattah Mohamed Ibrahim, head of the organisation’s committee to support the families of political prisoners and martyrs, were killed in “cold blood” by the security forces on 1 July, the Brotherhood said in statement. The men were meeting in an apartment in 6th October City which was raided by police, who claimed to have been attacked by armed “terrorists”. Nine people were killed by the security forces during the raid.
The killings in 6th October City follow days of escalating violence. Prosecutor General Hisham Barakat, the principal legal architect of Sisi’s security crackdown, was assassinated in a car bomb on 29 June. The following day, coordinated attacks by militants from Province of Sinai forces on army positions in Shaikh Zuwayed left over 70 dead, news agencies reported.
Sisi’s response to military setbacks in Sinai has been to declare war on his civilian opponents, including many already in jail under sentence of death. He demanded that the courts speed up the process of carrying out executions by removing appeal stages, while the cabinet rushed through a further round of anti-terrorism laws. Although existing laws have been widely criticised for relying on vague definitions of terrorism, and targeting entirely peaceful acts of opposition, the latest round of legislation is even more draconian. Among the changes are mandatory death sentences and life sentences for a raft of offences relating to organisers and funders of “terrorist organisations”. Sisi is also targeting the Criminal Procedures laws for revision, after the government’s arguments that hearing defence witnesses should be left to the discretion of the court were rejected by the State Council in March this year.
What you can do:
- Sign the statement against the death sentences in Egypt online here.