39,000 arrests and judicial prosecutions on political grounds in Egypt since 2018, says Transparency Center

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On Sunday, the Transparency Research and Documentation Center reported that the Egyptian authorities carried out 39,000 arrests and judicial prosecutions on political grounds from January 2018 to January 2023. The report also documented 104 deaths among those arrested or re-arrested, in addition to three deaths of people upon their release from prison. According to the human rights group, among the release decisions, 1,386 release decisions were with financial guarantees, all of which are estimated at 7,480,800 Egyptian pounds.

On Thursday, the Egyptian Gazette published a decision by the Egyptian Public Prosecution to include ten people on the list of terrorists, including the late President Mohamed Morsi and the former leader of the Muslim Brotherhood, Essam El-Erian, despite their deaths. Among those included are Asaad Al Sheikha, Alaa Hamza, Mahmoud Makkawi Afifi, Abdul Hakim Ismail, and Jamal Saber. Those on the list face various penalties, including being placed on travel ban lists, passport withdrawal or cancellation, and not being appointed to public office. The Official Gazette also published another decision issued by the Public Prosecution to include 140 people on the list of terrorists, based on the death and prison sentences issued against them by the Criminal Court.

Since President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi came to power, Egypt has also expanded the issuance of death sentences against political opponents. The Egyptian Front for Human Rights has reported that Egypt issued 538 death sentences in 2022, compared to 403 in 2021 and 295 in 2020. The human rights group said that in the same year, the authorities executed 30 people. Seven were sentenced in political cases, and the rest were in criminal cases. In addition to expanding the use of the death penalty in political cases, Egyptian courts continue to issue death sentences for various crimes, it added. These judgments often come after unfair trials, according to the rights group.