Creating new perspectives since 2009

Rights organisations condemn hanging of Egypt monk who confessed under torture

May 11, 2021 at 1:41 pm

Human rights organisations have condemned Egypt’s execution of Father Isaiah Al-Maqari [@afteegypt/Twitter]

Several human rights organisations have condemned Egypt’s execution of Father Isaiah Al-Maqari on Sunday morning after he was accused of killing an abbot in his monastery in 2018.

Father Isaiah told a court that his confession was the result of torture by electric shock. His lawyer submitted a memorandum to the public prosecutor, calling on him to investigate, but he never did.

He was interrogated for 48 hours during which he was not allowed to use the toilet and subjected to forced disappearance.

Whilst detained at the headquarters of the National Security Agency in Nubaria, which is an illegal detention facility, Father Isaiah was prevented from communicating with his family and a lawyer.

His family was given no warning that the execution was happening, they only knew after authorities called his brother afterward and asked him to go and collect the body.

Authorities are now preventing his family from burying his body.

READ: Pro-Sisi TV host criticises US over stance toward Ethiopia dam

Father Isaiah’s brother had already driven to the prison on Saturday, the day before his execution, to visit him but nobody told him his brother would be killed the following day.

According to Reprieve, 48 people have been executed already this year in Egypt. In 2020, 152 people were executed, more than any other year on record.

There has been a 300 per cent rise in executions in Egypt, according to the rights watchdog Amnesty International.

In April, 17 prisoners were executed in Egypt at dawn having been accused of killing 13 policemen in a 2013 attack on a police station in Kerdasa. Their families were not notified before they were hanged.

Many of their testimonies were extracted under torture.

Prisoners in Egypt are often tried in mass trials and tortured to obtain confessions which are then used as evidence.

There are roughly 60,000 political prisoners in Egypt.

Along with Father Isaiah, the hanging of the 17 prisoners in April broke a precedent in that it took place during the holy month of Ramadan when Egyptian authorities have traditionally avoided killing people.

Father Isaiah was killed the weekend after Coptic Easter.