Egypt Watch

Human Rights Watch condemns the execution of 49 people in 10 days in Egypt

Human Rights Watch condemned the execution of 49 people within ten days in Egypt, pointing out that “these mass executions came after suspicious killings in prisons.” In a statement the rights watchdog said, “The Egyptian authorities have executed 15 men who were convicted of their alleged involvement in three cases of political violence, in addition to two women and 32 men in criminal cases, all between 3 and 13 October 2020.” It called on the Egyptian authorities to “immediately stop carrying out death sentences, and to re-try those sentenced to death in grossly unfair trials.”

The government does not usually announce executions, and often does not inform the prisoner’s family. Under President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, Egypt has become one of the top ten countries for executions and death sentences, Human Rights Watch stated. It noted that “the detainees are exposed to the background of allegations of involvement in political violence, in many cases, to a range of violations, including enforced disappearance and torture to extract confessions.” “Those arrested for alleged political violence frequently face a host of abuses including enforced disappearances, torture to extract confessions, and no access to lawyers.” “The majority of those sentenced to death were convicted in military or terrorism court trials that do not meet fair trial standards.”

Deputy Director of the Middle East and North Africa Division at the organisation, Joe Stork, said: “Egypt’s mass executions of scores of people in a matter of days is outrageous. The systematic absence of fair trials in Egypt, especially in political cases, makes every death sentence a violation of the right to life.”