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UN slams Egypt for executions

Egyptian security forces seen in Arish, following an attack which was claimed by Daesh, on 19 December 2017 [Anadolu Agency]
Egyptian security forces on 19 December 2017 [Anadolu Agency]

The UN has slammed the Egyptian authorities for executing 20 people last week, Al-Jazeera reported on Friday. The international organisation said that it is "deeply shocked" by the executions.

Calling on Egypt to meet its international obligation in relation to human rights and review its policy of issuing death sentences, the UN also called for the government in Cairo to take the necessary measures in order to guarantee that such "violations of international law and just trials" are not repeated.

A statement by the UN pointed out that trying civilians before military courts is not permitted except in exceptional circumstances.

"In cases of capital punishment, trials must meet the highest standards of fairness and due process," explained Liz Throssell, a spokesperson of the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, on Friday. "Reports also indicated that the prisoners who were executed may have been subjected to initial enforced disappearance and torture before being tried."

Read: Qaradawi among 8 defendants handed death sentences

Last week, the Egyptian authorities executed four Egyptians who objected to the 2013 military coup against the first freely-elected Egyptian President, Mohamed Morsi. They were accused of carrying out violent acts, as was a fifth man hanged at the same time. Earlier, another 15 people were executed allegedly for involvement in attacks against the Egyptian army in Sinai.

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