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Egyptians are quietly being executed

July 8, 2021 at 3:13 pm

A group of people gather to stage a protest against executions in Egypt, in front of the New York Times Building, in New York, United States, on 02 March 2019 [Atılgan Özdil/Anadolu Agency]

News of the execution of 25-year-old engineering student Moataz Mostafa Hassan in Egypt has passed quietly. He was found guilty of questionable charges as have the 97 other citizens who have been executed in Egypt since the 2013 coup.

A few lonely voices denounced the crime on social media. While loud voices kept supporting and applauding the oppressor.

A report issued by an independent Egyptian human rights organisation has confirmed that 68 citizens are awaiting execution after ‘exhausting all forms of litigation’.

Last month, Egypt’s Court of Cassation upheld death sentences issued against 12 political detainees in the case known to the media as the Rabaa sit-in dispersal, including prominent leaders of the January revolution such as Mohamed Beltagy, preacher and political activist Safwat Hegazi, scholar Abdel Rahman Al-Barr, and former minister of youth Osama Yassin, along with others.

One of the senior political figures of the Muslim Brotherhood Mohamed Beltagy is seen behind the cage during the trial over the breaking up the Rabaa Al-Adawiyyah protests, at the police academy in Cairo, Egypt on December 10, 2016 [Moustafa Elshemy / Anadolu Agency]

A senior political figure of the Muslim Brotherhood, Mohamed Beltagy, is seen behind prison bars in Cairo, Egypt on 10 December 2016 [Moustafa Elshemy / Anadolu Agency]

These sentences can only be seen as retaliatory and unjust, especially in a country where sham trials are the norm, with judges receiving orders from the military over the phone. What is most painful in a world that claims to reject mass death sentences, even against murderers and rapists, is the voices that remain deadly silent when it comes to these detainees, in particular the Islamists.

The double standard with which the West treats our human rights issues and just demands is the main reason why many chose the path of extremism and adopt more fanatic views. It is responsible for tilting the balance.

READ: International call to stop political executions in Egypt

Even worse, the international community chose silence and betrayal, and only cared for Israel, allowing whoever befriends it to become the adored companion of the West and enjoy having their mistakes permanently overlooked by powerful states.

In April, Amnesty announced that there had been a 300 per cent rise in executions in Egypt and that Cairo had become the third most frequent executioner worldwide. But even this classification was not enough reason for US President Joe Biden to denounce the regime, despite his attack on his Egyptian counterpart Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi during his election campaign.

In this world full of injustice, the icon of the January revolution, Dr Mohamed Beltagy, the peaceful oppositionist of the coup, is tried over the blood that was spilled in Rabaa Square.

Beltagy receives a death sentence despite offering his daughter – Asmaa – as a martyr to this injustice, after an army sniper shot her in the head. Capital punishment has been issued against Beltagy, the victim, while the killer enjoys freedom and life, as the perpetrators of the mass killing in the Rabaa sit-in dispersal have not been formally interrogated to date.

No security or stability can be built on a sea of the blood of innocent citizens.

This article first appeared in Arabic in Arabi21 on 7 July 2021

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