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Human rights group condemns Egypt's new mass death sentences

On July 17th and 18th, 2021, a truck ad drove through Washington D.C. and Northern Virginia displaying the faces of 12 political prisoners in Egypt that are facing the death penalty [The Freedom Initiative/Flickr]
A truck ad, displaying the faces of 12 political prisoners in Egypt that are facing the death penalty, drove through Washington DC on 17 July 2021 [The Freedom Initiative/Flickr]

The Geneva-based human rights group, the Committee for Justice (CFJ), has condemned Egypt's latest mass death sentences despite the numerous violations that marred the investigation and due process.

On 13 September 2021, the Minya Criminal Court sentenced four defendants to death and 57 others to life imprisonment for allegedly storming the Samalout police station in Minya.

According to CFJ, the trial lacked the internationally recognized fair trial standards, indicating that the organization has documented many violations during the trial, including obtaining confessions from defendants under torture and sentencing them based on those confessions.

Egypt has carried out 54 executions since the beginning of 2021, according to CFJ's latest report, "Egypt's Executions Frenzy".

The organization called on the Egyptian authorities to "officially halt these and other executions carried out en-masse, with the aim of ensuring all death sentences are properly reviewed, as convictions are based on unfair trials. And to stop the emergency law which violates the right of the defendants to appeals."

CFJ urged the international community to "put more pressure on the authorities in Egypt to stop human rights violations against detainees, and to stop issuing mass death sentences, which flagrantly violate the defendants' basic right to life."

READ: Egypt denies claims political detainees seek to reconcile with the state

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