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Killing from the judge’s bench

Egyptian judge Shaban el-Shamy (C) reads out the verdict sentencing deposed Islamist president Mohamed Morsi and more than 100 other defendants to death at the police academy in Cairo on 16 May 2015. [KHALED DESOUKI/AFP/Getty Images]
Egyptian judge Shaban El-Shamy (C) reads out the verdict sentencing deposed Islamist president Mohamed Morsi and more than 100 other defendants to death at the police academy in Cairo on 16 May 2015. [KHALED DESOUKI/AFP/Getty Images]

In a single month, in fact, within two weeks, 15 Egyptian citizens were executed in three different cases, the most recent of which was the assassination of Attorney General Hisham Barakat, in which nine young men were executed last week in light of incomplete or absent justice. The security services announced in a statement issued on July 1, 2015, that they had killed 9 Brotherhood leaders inside a residential apartment in the 6th of October district and claimed that they had killed the Attorney General.

On February 3, 2016, the Interior Ministry announced that its forces had killed both Mohamed Abbas Hassan and Mohamed Ahmed Abdel Aziz, as well as the Attorney General.

On March 6, 2016, the Interior Minister announced that they had arrested 48 suspects accused of killing Attorney General Hisham Barakat and nine of them were executed.

They used and invested the Attorney-General’s blood to kill their opponents; to kill twenty innocent Egyptians in various events and situations. Some of them were killed by the police and others killed by the judiciary. They are all killers, and none of them has been held accountable, neither Hisham Barakat’s killers nor those killing the innocent citizens.

It was also proven, from the moment that the Attorney General, Hisham Barakat’s car exploded, that he emerged from the car, able to walk on his own two feet, and rode in another car to go to the hospital for an examination and tests, according to the remarks by his driver made on a television programme, still on YouTube.

READ: UN warns Egypt about executions

Justice is absent from this case. It is enough to know that it is not based on any evidence or proof of intentional murder other than police investigations and the testimonies of the suspects that were extracted from them by torture with an electric shock. One of the suspects, Mahmoud Al-Ahmadi, told the judge at a hearing, “You know we are wrongfully accused. Give me an electric probe, and I’ll make anyone confess to assassinating [the late President Anwar] Sadat. We have been electrocuted so much we could power Egypt for 20 years.” The judge did not bat an eye or hesitate when he said this, nor did the judge use the powers granted to him by the law to order an immediate investigation into the torture cases. He also failed to transfer the suspects to a medical examination, as required by law, and instead gave the orders for their execution. He was instructed to give these orders, and all he did was follow the instructions. The concept of a verdict after deliberations has ended and replaced with a verdict after a phone call.

Failing to meet this legal requirement violates the course of justice in the case and could even lead to the complete undermining of the sentencing, to begin with.

It is ironic and a form of black comedy that in this case, and the blind man was sentenced to 15 years of hard labour on charges of training those who carried out the crime to shoot.

This judge, who did not know how to announce the sentences correctly, making serious grammatical errors as well as misquoting a Quranic verse, could quickly transform the victim into the attacker after making such mistakes!

These judges, who issue rulings and unjust sentences against their victims are aware that they are in the same trenches with the military and that they will have the same fate. They know that the survival of this regime will mean they will remain in their positions without being harmed, as no one would dare hold them accountable for their crimes. However, the departure of this regime means they will be prosecuted for the blood of those they oppressed and therefore they are making every effort possible to keep this regime in place for them to remain alive. It has become a matter of life or death for them, not a matter of right and wrong.

READ: 52 Egyptians executed on political charges, 50 more await death 

The massacre of executions reminds us of the Rabaa massacre in which they killed brutally and treacherously. The two massacres were committed before sunrise, while the people slept. Despite the huge difference in numbers between them, the sympathy showed by the majority of the people with the massacre against the nine young men was astounding, included members of the authorities. This is even though the powerful media machine was in operation, as the entire Egyptian media, including the official and private media outlets, are completely under the control of the government, which distorts and falsifies the facts, spreads lies, and misleads the people. However, this media machine was unable to spread its poison and prevent a sympathetic and emotional reaction from the people to the innocent victims. The people cursed the unfair and oppressive judge, and the social media sites were persuaded with pictures of the victims, obituaries, and prayers for them. The alternative media had a stronger influence on the masses than their deceptive media outlets. This is a vital point that we must highlight because it means that many of the people are starting to wake up and regain consciousness. They no longer believe their media, especially if we compare the people’s emotional reactions to the Rabaa and Al-Nahda massacres to their reactions towards the execution massacre. Although the former ones were horrific and the numbers of victims were enormous, their reaction was more intense towards the latter.

Names and photos of the 9 Egyptian prisoners executed by Egypt [Twitter]

Names and photos of the 9 Egyptian prisoners executed by Egypt [Twitter]

Perhaps this great popular sympathy is what made the regime slow down a bit and postpone the execution of four new suspects in another case, who was scheduled to be executed after the first case. There are still 50 Egyptians citizens awaiting execution. Information has been leaked that the regime aims to implement these death sentences in a short timeframe based on the theory of shock, especially amid the international silence in the face of the authority’s human rights violations. These executions were decided after Al-Sisi visited the Munich conference for security and talked about combatting terrorism and Islamist groups. It is as if he were their protector and defended him, acting as the front line in the face of terrorism to keep them away from it. This means that the international community agreed to this, which encouraged the regime to shed more blood and to hold the Arab-European conference in Sharm el-Sheikh, a few days after the executions. This is nothing but an expression of the international community’s collusion and turning a blind eye.

The international community has lost its conscience in the face of all the crimes committed in the name of Muslims. Meanwhile, the authorities carefully monitor every violation committed against the non-Muslims. This conscience is cross-eyed and only focuses on its interests and trade deals with the countries. The international community that does not pay attention to the crimes Israel commits against the Palestinians, the crimes committed by the killer Bashar Al-Assad in Syria, the crimes committed against the Muslims in China, etc. this is a community that has lost its humanity and sold its values to the highest bidder in the market. It is a community that deserves to be spat on.

The views expressed in this article belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Middle East Monitor.

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