Political prisoners in Egypt who have been condemned to death in unfair trials are at increasing risk of execution, human rights groups are warning. The military regime put nine young men to death on 20 February bringing the numbers killed in what Amnesty International has called a “bloody execution spree” this year to 15.
“The international community must not stay silent,” said Najia Bounaim, Amnesty International’s North Africa Campaigns Director. “Egypt’s allies must take a clear stand by publicly condemning the authorities’ use of the death penalty, the ultimate cruel, inhuman and degrading punishment.” The nine were executed after unfair trials, and several of those convicted said that they had been tortured into making false confessions of guilt in connection with the assassination of the Egyptian Prosecutor General in a car bomb attack in 2015. Islam al-Makkawi (24), Abu-Bakr al-Sayyid Abd-al-Magid (23), Mahmoud al-Ahmadi (23), Abd-al-Rahman Sulaiman Kahousk (27), Ahmad Haitham al-Hegazi (25), Ahmad Mahrous Sayyid (27), Abu-al-Qassim Ahmad Ali (25), Ahmad Gamal Hegazi (24), Ahmad Taha Wahdan (30) were mainly students, with the exception of Wahdan, a civil engineer.
Hundreds of other Egyptians remain on death row facing execution after similar experiences of torture and sham trials.
What you can do:
- Send a letter of protest to the Egyptian embassy demanding a halt to further executions
2014 Statement: Stop the executions in Egypt
Over the past year, Egypt’s judges have issued well over 1000 death sentences. Hundreds remain on death row, in many cases condemned after trials lasting a few minutes, often without access to legal representation or any opportunity to respond to the accusations made against them. Executions have been carried out despite evidence from the defendants’ lawyers and families that the accused could not have committed the crime because they were already in prison at the time it took place.
The death sentences passed against over 100 people on 16 May 2015 are acts of political vengeance against the regime’s opponents, and have no connection with any credible judicial process. Those condemned include Mohamed Morsi, Egypt’s former president who was ousted by the military in July 2013, Emad Shahin, a professor of Public Policy at the American University in Cairo, two people who are already dead and one who has been in jail for the past 19 years.
We call for an immediate halt to executions, and for all death sentences passed since July 2013 to be set aside.
We call on our own governments to cease all forms of security and military cooperation with Egypt and to impose an immediate ban on arms sales.
Stathis Kouvelakis (Syriza, Greece); Liz Lawrence (President, University and College Union, UK); John McDonnell, MP (UK); Ian Hodson (National President, Bakers and Allied Food Workers Union, UK)
View the expanded list of signatories here..
Egyptian courts have handed hundreds of death sentences to opponents of the military regime since the ouster of Mohamed Morsi in July 2013. A ruling on 21 June 2014 confirmed death sentences on 183 people after a previous hearing recommended the execution of 683 defendents, while others’ sentences were commuted to life imprisonment. Those condemned are all supporters of Mohamed Morsi who were sentenced after trials which Amnesty International slammed as “grossly unfair”.
Further trials have added to the list of those condemned, including former president Mohamed Morsi, who was sentenced to death on 16 May 2015.
Take action now in protest at the regime’s attempt to use the courts to crush dissent through the state-sanctioned of murder of its opponents.
What you can do:
1. Hold a protest
- On 5 June 2014 Egypt Solidarity Initiative supporters presented a 5,600 signature international statement against the death sentences handed down by a court in Minya to the Egyptian Embassy in London. If you organise a similar statement or protest in your country, please let us know and send us a picture.
2. Let President al-Sisi know the world is watching
- Email, telephone and fax the embassy of Egypt in your country and demand that the Egyptian government stops the executions. Click here for the full list.
3. Share and spread the world
- Use the webposters below to spread the word online via Facebook and Twitter
- Follow us @Egy_Solidarity on Twitter and via our page on Facebook
- Share the resources and background materials below to your network
- Amnesty International press release (21 June) giving details on the latest sentences and background
- ‘I’m against execution’ campaign statement by Egyptian activists
- Posters [pdf death sentences poster white on black] [death_sentences_poster_blackonwhite] [web posters below]