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Reprieve: Egypt remains fifth largest executioner worldwide

A protester holds up a cartoon depicting Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi as Lady Justice with a bloody sword and balancing gallows scales during a demonstration against the policy of the Egyptian President on 3 June 2015 near the Egyptian Embassy in Berlin. [ODD ANDERSEN/AFP via Getty Images]
A protester holds up a cartoon depicting Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi as Lady Justice with a bloody sword and balancing gallows scales during a demonstration against the policy of the Egyptian President on 3 June 2015 near the Egyptian Embassy in Berlin. [ODD ANDERSEN/AFP via Getty Images]

Reprieve has released a new report on the death penalty which reveals that Egypt remains the fifth largest executioner worldwide.

Since Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi rose to power in a military coup he headed in 2013, a record number of death sentences have been imposed and carried out.

At least 26 people are currently at risk of imminent execution and at least 17 children have received the death sentence since 2011.

This is despite the fact that Egypt's child law stipulates that no child who has committed a crime under the age of 18 can be sentenced to death, life imprisonment or forced labour.

In Egypt there are 60,000 political prisoners who are systematically tortured and denied medical care as a punitive measure against their activism.

This systematic torture is often used to obtain a confession which raises huge concerns amid the escalating use of the death penalty.

READ: 64 rights groups call on Egypt to end crackdown on peaceful dissent

Since their last report was released in 2019, Egypt's "mass trial complex" shows no signs of slowing, despite widespread international condemnation.

Since the 2011 Egyptian revolution there have been at least 53 mass trials from which 2,182 people have been sentenced to death.

"Based on the findings of this report, it is now clearer than ever that Egypt is using the death penalty as a tool of repression," says the author of the report, Jeed Basyouni.

"The death penalty is the ultimate abuse of state power. In Egypt, it is being wielded by a regime which makes use of systematic torture, stifles the right to free assembly and expression, and condemns those who exercise these internationally-protected rights – including children – as terrorists."

Bayouni called on the international community to restrict its use of the death penalty and comply with international obligations.

"Without reform, the machinery of death will only move quicker in years to come."

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