Human Rights Watch (HRW) yesterday condemned the Egyptian authorities’ execution of three coup opponents, stating that they were tortured into confessing.
The three men – two of whom were university students and the third the owner of a computer shop – were imprisoned after Egyptian authorities accused them of killing the son of a judge. On Thursday, Egypt imposed the death penalty against the three men in Mansoura, east of Alexandria.
Commenting on the death penalty, HRW stated yesterday that one of the defendants had sent a letter to Freedom Seekers – an observatory established by a group of human rights lawyers and activists – which “claimed that their confessions were made under torture”.
HRW’s statement said that “the letter indicated that they were tortured with electric shocks and beaten in the prison”.
Deputy Director of the International Organization for the Middle East and North Africa, Michael Page, called on Egypt to “ban the execution of death sentences, which amplifies the cruelty of unfair trials”.
Egyptian authorities have banned public funerals for the three young men and imposed strict measures on the private funeral, which was attended by few relatives who prayed for them in the mosque at dawn and buried them quickly.
In July 2016, the Mansoura Criminal Court sentenced five defendants to death by hanging, saying they belonged to the Muslim Brotherhood. These five included the three young men executed this week.
International human rights organisations have criticised the human rights situation in Egypt in light of a wave of executions and political arrests which have been perpetrated since Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi came to power after a coup in 2013.