[The following statement was issued by the Egyptian Organization for Human Rights on 25 March 2014]
The Egyptian Organization Condemns the Execution of 528 in Unfair Trial
On Monday 24 March 2014, Seventh Chamber of Minya Criminal Court handed down the death sentence for 528 supporters of former President Mohamed Morsi and acquitted 17 others,in the violence acts took place in Matti that followed the disperse of Rabaa, and El Nahdah square sit-ins .The session was held without the presence of the accused or lawyers.
EOHR is concerned about not taking the assurances and standards of fair trial, and the right of defense on behalf of, or as a proxy, particularly in cases where the penalties are up to the death sentence.
EOHR noted that the General Assembly of the United Nations had issued in November 1986 a resolution identifies some of legal guarantees that must be met when applying the death penalty, especially in countries that did not abolish the death penalty. And also not deprive any person sentenced to the death penalty of the right to appeal at a higher jurisdiction court, or to request clemency, or to commutate the sentence.
EOHR recognizes that the absentees judgments are as threatening to the defendant’s, so the defendant would turn themselves in for the procedures to be redone in the defendant presence as required by the Egyptian law, as well as the great number in a single batch of simultaneous death sentences raises great concern.
Adding to the concern of EOHR that the Global trend tends to abolish the death penalty and replace it with penalties of imprisonment for long durations, therefore many countries signed to the Second Optional Protocol of the International Covenant on Civil and Political, Aiming at the abolition of the death penalty, And which included in its preamble “that all measures aimed at abolishing the death penalty, is considered as a progress in the enjoyment of the right to life”, and article I provides that:
- No one subject to the jurisdiction of a State that is a Party to this Protocol be executed.
- Each State Party shall take all necessary measures to abolish the death penalty within its jurisdiction.