Human Rights Watch calls on Cairo to commute death sentences of 12 Muslim Brotherhood members


Published: 2021-06-19 09:14

Last Updated: 2022-05-24 13:21

Source: The New Arab
Source: The New Arab

Friday, Human Rights Watch called on Egypt to commute the death sentences issued against 12 members of the Muslim Brotherhood, including a number of its leaders.

Monday, the Court of Cassation had upheld the death sentences, which included a former minister and a member of the Muslim Brotherhood, and in turn commuted the death sentences issued against 31 members of the group to life imprisonment.

Most of the convicts participated in a 2013 sit-in in Rabaa Al-Adawiya Square, east of Cairo, which security forces violently dispersed, killing hundreds in the place within one day.

Those sentenced to death, who were initially 75 people, according to Human Rights Watch, are accused in particular of “resisting policemen charged with dispersal of their gathering, premeditated murder, vandalism, willful damage to buildings and public property, occupying them by force, blocking roads, and deliberately disrupting the flow of land transportation and endangering its safety.”

"The fourth trial was a travesty of justice, so it is outrageous that the Supreme Court upheld 12 death sentences," said Joe Stork, deputy executive director for the Middle East and North Africa at Human Rights Watch.

The case initially involved more than 600 defendants.

The organization indicated that President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi can pardon the convicts within 14 days of the issuance of the final verdict, and asked him to commute the sentences.

"Like other mass trials, this one failed to establish individual responsibilities and relied heavily on hollow national security claims," the statement continued.

Founded in 1928, the Muslim Brotherhood has long been the main opposition movement in Egypt despite decades of repression.

The group is now classified as a "terrorist," and its presence in the political scene was ended in 2013.