The New Arab Logo

Breaking News
Egypt: Amnesty urges retrial of men facing death penalty Open in fullscreen

The New Arab

Egypt: Amnesty urges retrial of men facing death penalty

7420 civilians have faced military trials in Egypt since October 2014 [Anadolu]

Date of publication: 5 October, 2016

Share this page:
  • 0

  • twitter
Amnesty International is urging Egyptian authorities to retry before a civilian court six men who received death sentences in an "unfair trial" by a military court.

Amnesty International has launched a campaign calling for the retrial of six civilians sentenced to death in an "unfair trial" by a military court in Egypt.

"Sentencing to death men who were tortured into 'confessions' is an egregious injustice, even by the degraded standards of Egypt's justice system," said Magdalena Mughrabi-Talhami, Amnesty International's Regional Deputy Programme Director for the Middle East and North Africa.

"They must receive a fair trial before an ordinary civilian court that meets international standards and excludes torture-tainted evidence, without the recourse to the death penalty," she added.

The campaign also urged Egyptian authorities to "open an effective, independent and impartial investigation into the allegations of enforced disappearance, torture and other ill-treatment".

The defendants, whom Amnesty said were subjected to enforced disappearances and their whereabouts were unknown for over six weeks, were convicted of belonging to a banned group and possessing firearms and explosives.

Most families discovered their relatives were in military custody when they saw a televised video by the defence ministry in July announcing the arrest of the "most dangerous terrorist cell" in Egypt, Amnesty said.

The video included footage of detainees "confessing" to belonging to banned groups and attacking military institutions.

They must receive a fair trial before an ordinary civilian court that meets international standards and excludes torture-tainted evidence, without the recourse to the death penalty.
- Magdalena Mughrabi-Talhami

According to Amnesty, the men's lawyers said the court had ignored their complaints of torture in detention and their requests for an investigation by forensic officials despite showing wounds that included burns and bruises on their bodies, as well as injuries to their hands.

Since 2011, thousands of civilians have faced trial before Egyptian military courts. The country's 2014 constitution provides for military trials of civilians.

According to a report issued in April by Human Rights Watch, 7420 civilians have faced military trials since October 2014, when President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi decreed a law that expanded the reach of the military justice system by placing all public property under its jurisdiction.

The New ArabComments

Most Popular

Most Popular

    Read More