Twelve death row prisoners are at imminent risk of execution after Egypt’s highest appeals court, the Court of Cassation, upheld their death sentences on June 14, 2021 following a grossly unfair mass trial. They were convicted and sentenced to death for their involvement in protests related to the ouster of former president Mohamed Morsi from power in July 2013. Their death sentences must be commuted immediately, and their convictions quashed.
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Abdel Fattah al-Sisi
Office of the President
Al Ittihadia Palace – Cairo, Arab Republic of Egypt
Fax +202 2391 1441
Email: [email protected]
I am writing regarding the Court of Cassation’s verdict on June 14, 2021 upholding the convictions and death sentences against 12 men
following a grossly unfair mass trial marred by allegations of enforced disappearance and torture. The 12 men, namely: Abdelrahman Abdelhamid el-Bar, Mohamed Mohamed Ibrahim el-Beltagy, Safwat Mohamed Hamouda Higazy, Osama Yassin, Ahmed Mohamed Aref, Ihab Wagdi Mohamed, Mohamed Abdelhai Hussein al-Faramawy, Mostafa Abdelhai Hussein al-Faramawy, Ahmed Farouk Kamel, Haytham al-Sayed al-Araby, Mohamed Mahmoud Ali Zanati and Abdelazim Ibrahim Attiya
, have no recourse but a commutation or pardon from Your Excellency. The 12 men, who include a former minister, a former parliamentarian and other senior figures in the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood, are imprisoned in conditions that violate the absolute prohibition of torture and other ill-treatment, including prolonged solitary confinement and denial of adequate medical care.
In September 2018, a terrorism circuit in Cairo’s Criminal Court handed down death sentences against 75 people, convicting them of participation in illegal protests, the murder of seven members of the security forces and 10 others, attempted murder and other charges in relation to their involvement in the Rabaa al-Adawiya Square sit-in dispersal, as well as other protests and clashes between supporters and opponents of former president, Mohamed Morsi, that had taken place from June 21 to August 14, 2013. Amnesty International considered the mass trial, involving 739 defendants, to have been grossly unfair. Despite this, the Court of Cassation upheld the verdict, convicting all defendants of all charges, without establishing individual criminal responsibility. The proceedings were marred by violations of fair trial rights, including the right to adequate defense; the right not to self-incriminate; the right to be tried by a competent, impartial and independent tribunal; the right to call and examine witnesses; and the right to a genuine review.
We therefore urge you to commute their death sentences, quash their convictions and order retrials in accordance with international fair trial standards, in proceedings that exclude coerced “confessions” and without recourse to the death penalty. We also urge the Egyptian authorities to halt any planned executions, to commute all existing death sentences and immediately establish an official moratorium on executions, with a view to abolishing the death penalty.