Steep rise in executions in Egypt in past two months: Amnesty

Steep rise in executions in Egypt in past two months: Amnesty

Egypt executed 57 men and women in October and November, nearly double the 32 people reported in the whole of 2019, Amnesty International said.

At least 15 of those executed had been sentenced to death in cases related to political violence following what Amnesty called unfair trials, the London-based human rights group said in a report released on Wednesday.

“The Egyptian authorities have embarked on a horrifying execution spree in recent months, putting scores of people to death, in some cases following grossly unfair mass trials,” Amnesty International’s Middle East and North Africa Research and Advocacy Director Philip Luther said.

Luther added that executions in the country were “particularly appalling” considering all the “well documented and systematic breaches of fair trial rights in Egypt with courts often relying on torture-tainted ‘confessions’”.

The Reuters news agency said Egypt’s state news centre and the interior ministry could not be reached for comment on the Amnesty report.

Amnesty said state authorities have also arrested human rights activists dealing with the issue of a death penalty in the country.

Staff members of the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights (EIPR) were arrested in November and interrogated about the group’s criminal justice work.

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi has said there are no political prisoners in Egypt and stability and security are paramount.

Egyptian courts have sentenced some 3,000 people to death since 2014, when el-Sisi became president, according to the Arab Network for Human Rights Information, an independent organisation that documents human rights violations in the Middle East and North Africa.

That is compared with fewer than 800 death sentences in the previous six years, according to Amnesty International.