Human rights watchdog, Amnesty International, AI, has condemned Monday’s execution of nine people in Egypt as “a chilling demonstration” of the Egyptian authorities’ disregard for the right to life and their obligations under international law.
“By carrying out these executions during the holy month of Ramadan, the Egyptian authorities have displayed a ruthless determination to persist with their escalating use of the death penalty,” AI’s Middle East and North Africa Research and Advocacy Director, Philip Luther, said in a statement.
Those executed included an 82-year-old man in relation to the killing of 13 police officers during an attack on Kerdasa police station in August 2013.
“The use of the death penalty is abhorrent in all circumstances, and in Egypt it is extremely concerning that it is used after unfair trials, with courts routinely relying on torture-tainted ‘confessions,” Luther said.
He added: “These death sentences were issued following a grossly unfair trial in which defendants were denied access to their lawyers and were coerced to ‘confess’. According to international law, proceedings in capital cases must scrupulously observe fair trial standards and carrying out executions after unfair trials violates the right to life.”
Amnesty International said the Egyptian authorities must immediately put a stop to this alarming surge in executions.
“We call on states worldwide to take a clear stance by publicly condemning Egypt’s use of the death penalty and urging the government to immediately establish an official moratorium on executions, as a first step towards abolishing the death penalty.”
Amnesty International’s annual death penalty report, released last week, revealed that the number of recorded executions in Egypt tripled in 2020 making it the world’s third most frequent executioner after China and Iran.