Rights group calls on Egypt to end ‘execution frenzy’

More executions will undermine prospects for future transitional justice to heal country, says Human Rights Watch researcher.

Rights group calls on Egypt to end ‘execution frenzy’

Human Rights Watch is calling on Egyptian authorities to stop the country’s “execution frenzy.”

“Egypt cannot afford more executions,” wrote Amr Magdi, a researcher on the Middle East and North Africa at Human Rights Watch.

“The country has been locked in a political crisis, with grave abuses by security forces now making daily news,” Magdi added in a statement. “Carrying out more executions will undermine prospects for any future transitional justice efforts to heal the country.”

“Under President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi’s government, Egypt has been executing people at an unprecedented rate, making it the world’s third-worst country in terms of numbers of executions in 2020,” he added, citing figures from Amnesty International.

“In October and November alone, Egyptian authorities executed at least 57 men and women, 49 of them in just 10 days. These included at least 15 men convicted in cases of political violence after unfair trials,” he added.

On June 14, Egypt’s highest civilian court upheld the death sentences of 12 Muslim Brotherhood members, including senior leaders Mohamed al-Beltagy, Safwat Hegazy, Abdel-Rahman el-Bar, Osama Yassin (former Egyptian minister), and Ahmed Aref.

In August 2013, the army and police dispersed protests in Cairo by supporters of President Mohamed Morsi, who was deposed that July and in 2019 collapsed in a courtroom and died.

According to Egypt’s official National Council for Human Rights, when security forces violently dispersed the pro-Morsi protests in Rabaa al-Adawiya and Giza's al-Nahda squares, 632 people were killed, including eight police officers.

International human rights groups, however, say the number of deaths was much higher.

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