UN Insist on Repealing Death Sentences for 75 Demonstrators in Egypt
UN human rights chief Michelle Bachelet today called for the reversal of the death sentence passed on 75 Islamists. Egypt judged yesterday that they have to get the death penalty because of the mass demonstrations of 2013. Besides, dozens of demonstrators have to go to jail for life.
The demonstrations of 2013 were meant against the coup, with which the elected president Mohamed Morsi was deposed. Originally it was intended as a peaceful sit-in protest, but the mood changed when the police dispersed people. 900 people died because of the hard action of the security services.
According to the government, many demonstrators were armed, and eight people from the security services were killed. According to Human Right Watch, of the 900 people who eventually died, 6 were part of the security services. According to the human rights organisation, so many people have never been killed during protests.
Five years after the massacre, the District Court in Cairo ruled that 75 demonstrators would receive the death penalty, 47 people would have to go to jail for life, and another 612 people would have been given a severe prison sentence of between 5 and 15 years.
If the executions were to be carried out, that would be a “huge judicial mistake”, Bachelet thinks. She called the process against the Islamists unfair. According to Bachelet, the court that pronounced the convictions did not come up with convincing evidence against the suspects.
Amnesty International also denounces the punishments and thinks that the rule of law is ridiculed. The fact that no member of the security services is held responsible for the dead is also hard to come by.
“We strongly condemn the ruling,” Amnesty says in a press release. “The death penalty should never be an option, and the authorities should be ashamed of themselves.”
Amnesty wants a new lawsuit in an impartial court. “One in which a fair trial is accepted for everyone, without the use of the death penalty.”