Urgent Action: Tortured Monk at Imminent Risk of Execution (Egypt: UA 48.21)

April 27, 2021

Death row prisoner monk Wael Tawadros, known as Father Isaiah, is at risk of execution. He was subjected to serious human rights violations including enforced disappearance, torture and unfair trial. A court convicted and sentenced him to death in April 2019 on the basis of his torture-tainted “confessions”. The sentence was upheld on appeal. The number of executions more than tripled in Egypt in 2020, compared to the previous year, raising fears that more prisoners on death row are at risk of execution.

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CONTACT INFORMATION

Abdel Fattah al-Sisi
Office of the President
Al Ittihadia Palace
Cairo, Arab Republic of Egypt
Fax +202 2391 1441
Email: [email protected]
Twitter: @AlsisiOfficial
Ambassador Motaz Zahran
Embassy of the Arab Republic of Egypt
3521 International Ct NW, Washington DC 20008
Phone: 202 895 5400 I Fax: 202 244 5131
Email: [email protected] , [email protected]
Twitter: @EgyptEmbassyUSA , @MotazZahran
Facebook: @EgyptEmbassyUSA
Salutation: Dear Ambassador

SAMPLE LETTER

Your Excellency,

Monk Wael Tawadros, known as Father Isaiah, is at imminent risk of execution. Wael Tawadros was convicted in April 2019 of killing a Bishop and sentenced to death following a grossly unfair trial; the court relied on his torture-tainted “confessions”, even though he retracted them in court. In July 2020, the Court of Cassation upheld the death sentence, & the Grand Mufti approved it, making the sentence final. Wael Tawadros has no recourse other than a commutation from your Excellency.

Wael Tawadros’ right to a fair trial was violated, including his right to access a lawyer, not to incriminate himself, & to receive a fair hearing before a competent, independent & impartial tribunal. According to his family, following his arrest on August 5, 2018, Wael Tawadros was subjected to an enforced disappearance. Until August 28, 2018, the Ministry of Interior refused to acknowledge his detention & reveal his fate & whereabouts. According to an oral statement given by Wael Tawadros in court on January 27, 2019, a recording of which was reviewed by Amnesty International, during this period, police officers took him to the monastery, where the murder took place, stripped him naked, forced him to wear his monk’s robe, beat him, gave him electric shocks, & then ordered him to act out the alleged murder on camera.

According to Wael Tawadros’s family, the Abaadiya prison administration, in Al-Behira governorate, northern Egypt, where he has been held since August 2018, has been subjecting him to discriminatory & punitive treatment, by preventing him from any written correspondence and denying him regular access to a priest, in violation of international standards & Egyptian law. Others held at the same prison are granted such rights. Furthermore, he is held in a prison hundreds of kilometres from his family’s residence in Asyut governorate, increasing the costs of prison visits & putting an undue financial burden on his family.

I urge you to commute the death sentence against Wael Tawadros , whose conviction should be quashed & who should be retried in accordance with international fair trial standards in proceedings that exclude coerced “confessions” & without recourse to the death penalty. I also urge you to ensure that he has regular access to his family, lawyer & a qualified representative of his religion. Finally, I urge you to immediately establish an official moratorium on executions, as a first step towards abolishing the death penalty.

Sincerely,

[YOUR NAME]

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION