Egypt: court confirms mass death sentence for 183

Judge Said Youssef of the Minya Criminal Court of Egypt on June 20 confirmed the death sentence of 183 Muslim Brotherhood members while simultaneously acquitting over 400 in the death of police officers over a year ago. Only 110 of the accused were present in a holding area outside of the court during the determination, while the remainder were tried in absentia. According to Egyptian law, each absentee will be retried upon apprehension. This marks a slight reversal of the initial mass death sentence of 683 members of the Brotherhood after a review of the mass trial by the Grand Mufti, the spiritual leader of Egypt. Multiple human rights organizations, including Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch have critiqued the mass trial for lack of due process, as neither the defendants nor their attorneys were permitted to appear before the court. This is the second death sentence against former leaders in two days.

From Jurist, June 21. Used with permission.

  1. UN rights experts ‘outraged’ at Egypt mass death sentences

    A group of UN human rights experts for the expressed their anger June 30 after an Egyptian court confirmed the death sentences of 183 people. According to the UN, all of the defendants were alleged supporters of ex-president Mohammed Morsi and his party the Muslim Brotherhood. The experts noted that the credibility of the Egyptian court system may have been compromised, stating "[w]e are deeply concerned that the courts have become instrumental in the arbitrary and politically motivated prosecutions by the State, which may also be discriminatory against people on the basis of religion or belief." The experts urged the Egyptian government to impose a moratorium on all death sentences.

    From Jurist, June 30. Used with permission.

  2. Riots rock Egypt on coup anniversary

    Nearly 200 were arrested in Egypt in protests marking the anniversary of the Mohamed Morsi's removal from power. Three were killed, inluding two who apparerently met their deaths when their explosive device went off accidentally in an apartment in Kirdasah, outside Cairo. The third was killed in clashes with security forces in Giza. A bomb also went off on a train in Alexandria, injuring five passengers. Protests were also reported from Alexandria, Assiut and Fayoum. (Al Jazeera, July 4)

  3. Egypt court sentences top Muslim Brotherhood official

    An Egpytian high court sentenced Mohamed Badie, a leader of the Muslim Brotherhood, on July 5 to life in prison for inciting violence and protests near the al-Istiqamah Mosque in the Giza. Presiding Judge Hassan Farid referred to Badie's actions as incitment "to achieve terrorist goals." Badie has previously been sentenced to death twice for his acts of incitement in Giza. Reportedly, 38 other brotherhood members also received the same sentence as Badie, while 10 members received a death sentence. (Jurist, July 6)

  4. Egypt appeals court aquits former Morsi PM

    An Egyptian appeals court on July 11 overturned the one-year jail sentence of previous Islamist president Mohamed Morsi's former prime minister Hisham Qandil. The decision was reported by Qandil's lawyer to Agence France Presse in Cairo. Qandil was initially arrested trying to flee the country after Morsi was overthrown by the military last July. It is reported that Qandil's lawyer has stated that the Egyptian appeals court decision was "a final acquittal" and that Qandil will not "face any other charges in any other cases, and he will be released after all (legal) procedures are completed." (Jurist, July 15)