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Egypt executes 16 people in one week

June 29, 2021 at 10:48 am

An execution is about to take place using the method of hanging [Patrick Feller/Flickr]

Egypt has executed 16 people in one week in the northern city of Alexandria as it continues to carry out the death penalty at an alarming rate.

On Sunday, eight men and one woman were hanged at the Cairo Appeals Prison which holds prisoners on death row.

The previous Monday prison authorities at Borg Al-Arab Prison in Alexandria executed seven people.

The executions follow a June ruling that sparked international outrage when Egypt’s highest appeals court upheld the death sentence against 12 Muslim Brotherhood members including senior leaders.

They were accused of charges including violence against police during the violent dispersal of the Rabaa Al-Adawiya sit-in.=

Egypt’s President, Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi, had 14 days from the ruling to issue a presidential pardon, the last chance to save them as the Court of Cassation’s rulings are final and cannot be appealed.=

However, the deadline for this passed yesterday.

READ: No presidential pardon for those on death row in Egypt

Human Rights Watch called on Egypt to “immediately halt any further executions, particularly of those convicted in grossly unfair trials.”

“To move forward, Egypt needs to address the crimes committed by security forces, including Rabaa and the mass killings of protesters.”

Sisi Era - Cartoon [Latuff/MiddleEastMonitor]

Sisi Era – Cartoon [Carlos Latuff/MiddleEastMonitor]

Amnesty International has described what’s happening in Egypt as a “horrifying execution spree” with executions up by 300 per cent.

Egypt is now the third most frequent executioner worldwide with 53 people being executed in October alone.

Between 2018 and 2020 Egypt carried out at least 241 executions, including 152 in 2020 alone.

Nine human rights organisations, including Belady Centre for Rights and Freedoms and the Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies, have demanded a moratorium on capital punishment in Egypt.

“In politically-motivated mass trials lacking any guarantee of due process, the Criminal Court followed by the Court of Cassation issued sentences of death, life imprisonment, and lengthy imprisonment against the defendants,” said the statement.

“The judiciary’s shameless disregard for justice and the rule of law clearly declares the Egyptian government’s aim to entrench a policy of impunity in defiance of the recommendations of the fact-finding committee and the report of the National Council for Human Rights on the necessity of genuine accountability and redress.”