- Egyptian authorities have arrested former members of the Muslim Brotherhood, considering them terrorists. And they have faced trials and executed since 2013. Several such prisoners face long prison sentences.
- Egypt hanged 26 prisoners last week. Reported civil rights groups.
- Out of the 26 executed prisoners, at least 15 were political prisoners. Claims the Middle East rights watchdog, WeRecord.
The Egyptian authorities are currently facing fierce criticism worldwide. Egypt executed at least two dozen prisoners last week. Earlier, the United Nations led campaigns against capital punishment. That did not seem to discourage the Egyptian government.
According to various civil rights groups, Egypt executed 26 prisoners last week. Meanwhile, a middle East rights watchdog claimed that at least 15 were political prisoners. The organisation made further claims. It said the Interior ministry carried out the death sentence of two known political detainees. The two known prisoners – Yaser Abasir, 49, and Yasser Shakr, 45. This is a case popular in the media as ‘Events of the Library of Alexandria’.
The local media had earlier reported that only six prisoners were executed. The concerned authorities admitted that only the ones found guilty by the court were hanged.
26 prisoners hanged: Fair or Unfair?
UN High Commissioner for Human Rights condemned the executions. A spokesperson said the trials may have been unfair. He demanded a speedy investigation into the matter.
The Egyptian authorities have arrested former members of the Muslim Brotherhood, considering them terrorists. And they have faced trials and executed since 2013. Several such prisoners face long prison sentences. WeRecord made comments about the executions. It said that the executions have been extended to anyone that might form a seed of opposition to the President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi.
Reportedly, Egypt executed at least one prisoner every day, last year. Egypt joins the list of top executioners globally. The other nations are China, Iran, Saudi Arabia and Iraq, according to a tally by Amnesty International.
Death Penalty: Comments pour in
Meanwhile, Antonio Guterres, UN Secretary-General said capital punishment has no place in the 21st century. Especially, given the lack of evidence that deters crimes.
European Union High Representative Joseph Fonteles and Council of Europe Secretary-General Marija Pejcinovic Buric commented jointly. The joint statement emphasised on the need for justice here.
Notedly, some 170 members of the UN have either abolished the death penalty or no longer practise it. 2019 recorded the lowest number of executions. Around 20 countries reported executions. Ironically, Egypt executions came in at a crucial time. The UN marked the World Day against the Death penalty on October 10.