World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 


Mass imposition of death penalty in Egypt outrageous

Geneva (29 April 2014)

Mass imposition of death penalty in Egypt outrageous

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay on Tuesday strongly condemned the shocking imposition of the death penalty on 683 individuals in Egypt yesterday after mass trials that she said clearly breached international human rights law.

“It is outrageous that for the second time in two months, the Sixth Chamber of the Criminal Court in Al-Minya has imposed the death sentence on huge groups of defendants after perfunctory trials,” she said.

“In defiance of worldwide pleas for Egypt to respect its human rights obligations after 529 people were sentenced to death in March by the same court, hundreds now face a similar fate at the hands of a judicial system where international fair trial guarantees appear to be increasingly trampled upon.”

“It is high time that Egypt takes its human rights commitments seriously,” Pillay added, noting in particular that Egypt has ratified the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

According to information received, the 683 defendants were charged with killing a policeman and breaking into the Edwa police station in Al-Minya on 14 August 2013, among other charges. As in the previous cases, the exact charges against each defendant are not clear, given that they were not individually read out in court.

“The presumption of innocence is fundamental to the protection of human rights in a criminal trial,” Pillay said.

“It imposes on the prosecution the burden of proving the charge against each accused and it guarantees that no guilt can be presumed until the charge against him or her has been proved beyond reasonable doubt.”

“Instead of imposing death sentences wholesale, courts must ensure that accused individuals enjoy fair trials, including the benefit of doubt,” Pillay stressed.

Of the 529 people who were sentenced to death by the Sixth Chamber of the Criminal Court in Al-Minya on 24 March for killing a policeman and on various other charges, 37 had their sentences upheld by the court yesterday, while others reportedly received reduced sentences of 25 years, in itself excessive, and were fined EGP 20,000.

“The death penalty can only be applied for the most serious crimes and after the most stringent trial safeguards,” the High Commissioner said. “This has clearly not been the case in these two trials before the Al-Minya criminal court. A mass trial of hundreds of people, rife with procedural irregularities is simply not good enough for imposition of the death penalty. It is also a totally inadequate basis for sentencing 492 individuals to life in prison.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 

UN: Urgent Action To End Female Genital Mutilation UN: Urgent Action To End Female Genital Mutilation

New UN data shows need for urgent action to end female genital mutilation, child marriage More>>

World News: SRI LANKA: Justice Denied To Two Child Victims Of Rape
There have been reports of an alleged abduction and rape of an eleven-year-old girl by a group of Navy officers, and of another nine-year-old girl treated in a similar manner. More>>

‘Global Epidemic’ Of Anti-Semitism NGO Urges UN To Condemn ‘global Epidemic’ Of Anti-Semitism

French riot police officers face rioters in Sarcelles, a suburb north of Paris, on July 20, 2014. More>>


IDF Falsifies Photograph To Justify Bombing El-Wafa Hospital IDF Falsifies Photograph To Justify Bombing El-Wafa Hospital

On the 21st July at 2:17 PM, the IDF spokesperson released an image on twitter showing an aerial picture of a building marked as ‘Al-Wafa’ hospital. In the image there is a red circle, which they designated as the location from which a M75 rocket was ... More>>

MH17: Black Boxes Recovered by Malaysian Government

'Following the agreement Prime Minister Najib Razak brokered with rebel leaders, Malaysia has taken custody of flight MH17's black boxes. As the Prime Minister said, they will be passed to the international investigation team for analysis. More>>

ALSO:


Gaza Update On 15th Day Of The Israeli Offensive

Dozens of Palestinian Civilians Killed or Wounded as Israeli Forces Attack Apartment Buildings, Mosques, Hospitals and Schools; White Phosphorous Bombs and Flechette Shells Fired by Israeli Forces in Border Areas... More>>

Al Jazeera: Egypt Verdict Defies Logic And Any Semblance Of Justice

Following today’s verdict in Cairo, Al Jazeera English managing director Al Anstey said: “Today three colleagues and friends were sentenced, and will continue behind bars for doing a brilliant job of being great journalists. More>>


Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
World
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news