Rights group says seven men executed over 48 hours in Egypt received no fair trials

Rights group says seven men executed over 48 hours in Egypt received no fair trials
2 min read
Egypt - Cairo
11 March, 2022
According to the Egyptian Front for Human Rights (EFHR), the convicts were subjected to several violations during their detention. Some of them had been accused of ambushing security forces.
A death sentence in Egypt is usually carried out by hanging. [Getty]

The Egyptian authorities carried out executions over 48 hours against seven convicts, who had been found guilty of terrorism-related charges in two different cases. According to an Egyptian rights group based in the Czech Republic, they had not received fair trials, though.

The executed convicts had been subjected to several violations during arrest, interrogation, and trial, which were not considered during the trial process, the Egyptian Front for Human Rights (EFHR) said in a statement on Thursday.   

EFHR explained that the seven executed convicts had been reportedly subjected to enforced disappearance before questioning, and physical and moral coercion in order to force them to make confessions during interrogation in the absence of their lawyers.

On Tuesday, the prisons' authority executed four men convicted in the case dubbed ‘The Helwan Microbus Cell’. In April 2021, a Cairo cassation court upheld a previous ruling, sentencing the four men to death for killing eight policemen in an ambush back in 2016. A total of 14 others received different, harsh prison sentences in the same case.

The 18 men had been convicted of joining a terrorist group, possessing fire weapons and explosives, and the premeditated murder of security forces.

EFHR quoted a lawyer, who represented one of the four executed men, as saying that his client had been subjected to severe physical torture during his enforced disappearance for more than a month, before he was officially questioned by the authorities.

Also, this week on Thursday, the authorities executed three other men convicted in what has been known as 'The Case of Egypt's Soldiers'.

In 2019, a Cairo cassation court upheld earlier criminal court verdicts, ordering the execution of 13 men, 25 years in prison against 17, and different jail sentences against nine others.

They were found guilty of charges similar to the ‘Helwan Microbus Cell’, as well as being involved in two explosive attacks near Ain Shams University in Cairo in December 2014, and another that targeted the secret service near the presidential palace one month later.

Legally, a cassation court order is final and cannot be appealed. A death sentence in Egypt is usually carried out by hanging.

Egypt witnessed a wave of attacks that mostly targeted security forces in the years following the military coup that had overthrown the first democratically-elected president, Mohamed Morsi, in 2013, especially in the restive North Sinai province.