Tuesday, February 3, 2015

'Mass death sentences' for 183 in Egypt

  An Egyptian court triggered an international uproar Monday, confirming a death sentence for 183 defendants.

  The defendants were convicted of murdering 11 police and two civilians in August 2013, Egypt's state-run MENA news agency reported.Those deaths came in an attack on a police station.It followed a massive, deadly crackdown by Egyptian forces on supporters of ousted President Mohamed Morsy."Today's death sentences are yet another example of the bias of the Egyptian criminal justice system," said Hassiba Hadj Sahraoui of Amnesty International. "These verdicts and sentences must be quashed and all of those convicted should be given a trial that meets international standards of fairness and excludes the death penalty."
  "Issuing mass death sentences whenever the case involves the killing of police officers now appears to be near-routine policy, regardless of facts and with no attempt to establish individual responsibility," Sahraoui added."So far, 415 people have been sentenced to death in four trials for the killing of police officers, while the case against former President Hosni Mubarak, involving the killing of hundreds of protesters during the uprising, has been dropped. To date no security officers have been held to account for the killing of 1,000 protesters in August 2013," the organization said on its website. Amnesty International opposes the death penalty altogether.Thirty-four of the 183 defendants were tried in absentia. All are permitted to appeal.


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