Creating new perspectives since 2009

UN criticises Egypt death sentences in ‘flawed trials’

June 23, 2017 at 12:11 pm

Image of the six Egyptian men sentenced to death

A group of UN human rights experts have demanded Egypt stop the planned executions of six men who have been sentenced to death on evidence retrieved following forced confessions.

The six men were convicted in 2015 of killing a police officer a year earlier and were handed death sentences by Egypt’s highest criminal court earlier this month.

Basem Mohsen Elkhorieby, Khaled Askar, Mahmoud Mamhouh Wahba, Ibrahim Yahia Azab, Abd Elrahman Attia and Ahmed Al-Waleed Al-Shal have all reportedly been tortured and forced to confess, according to the UN human rights office statement.

Read: Egypt ‘facilitates radicalisation’ says UN

Three of those convicted were forced to confess on national television.

“To proceed with the executions of the six men on the basis of these flawed trials would violate international human rights law and constitute arbitrary executions,” the experts said in the statement.

It is extremely worrying that while all six men recanted their forced confessions in court and indicated that they had been obtained under torture, these were still used as the basis for their convictions.

The experts condemned the “major inconsistencies” in the testimonies from members of the state security forces used as evidence against the men.

Some of the statements of witnesses used also did not match video footage of the alleged crime scene, the statement said.

According to the UN, capital punishment is only permitted under international law if there is “full respect for stringent due process guarantees”.

The government must halt these executions and ensure a retrial in compliance with international law and standards.