Middle East Eye published a report highlighting the international and domestic reactions to the crime of executing the coup authorities of 17 defendants in the farce of storming the Kerdasa police station. According to the report translated by Freedom and Justice, the coup authorities executed 17 people for alleged involvement in murder during an attack on a police station in 2013, not nine people as the Interior Ministry initially mentioned, according to lawyers representing their families.
The coup government’s Interior Ministry said in a statement Monday that nine men convicted of attacking a police station in the town of Kerdasa were executed by hanging, but on Tuesday, lawyers representing the families of 17 of the defendants said all of the men had been executed.
Human rights organizations had previously raised concerns about the legality of the trials, and stated that there is little evidence linking those who were executed with the attack on the police station, and more than 180 people were sentenced to death at first because of the attack, but many of them reduced their convictions or appealed the verdict. The killing of the 13 policemen, which later became known as the Kerdasa massacre, came hours after the coup security forces stormed mass sit-ins in support of the martyr President Mohamed Morsi, in what was known as the Rabaa Square massacre.
The violent dispersals in the Rabaa al-Adawiya and al-Nahda squares in Cairo were described as one of the largest killings of protesters in a single day by human rights groups. According to Amnesty International, one of the men executed on Monday is Sheikh Abdul Rahim Jibril, who is 82 years old, and local media have said that he works as a teacher of the Holy Quran and is in poor health, and many social media users have circulated the name of the martyr and demanded justice.
Jaid Bassiouni, head of the Middle East and North Africa team at Reprieve, a UK-based NGO, described the executions as “extraordinary cruelty” because they occurred during Ramadan, one of the holiest and most respected months in the Islamic calendar. “The execution of these men without prior notice during the month of Ramadan is an extraordinary barbaric act, but so far, the Sisi regime’s contempt for its international laws and standards is not surprising,” she told Middle East Eye. “This is the latest escalation in the death penalty crisis in Egypt, which witnessed record numbers of people who were executed and sentenced to death. Western countries cannot continue to distance themselves from the grave human rights violations committed by their Egyptian ally,” she added.
A crackdown on dissent
According to the Arab Organization for Human Rights, a UK-based human rights NGO, the identities of those who raided the police station are still unknown, and there was no concrete evidence linking the seventeen men who were executed with the incident. “Many of the testimonies were extracted under torture and are therefore unacceptable,” a statement by the organization said. The organization also stated that the executions were part of a wider crackdown on critics of Abdel Fattah El-Sisi. “The opposition in Egypt suffer from serious violations from the moment of their arrest, followed by subjecting them to enforced disappearance and denying them communication with the outside world,” their statement said.
Philip Luther, Director of Research and Advocacy for the Middle East and North Africa at Amnesty International, said that the executions followed a totally unfair trial, adding, “This is a frightening evidence of the coup authorities’ disregard for the right to life and their obligations under international law.” He added, “By carrying out these executions during the blessed month of Ramadan, the coup authorities showed a harsh determination to continue to escalate their use of the death penalty.”
Falsification of History
The Egyptian Commission for Rights and Freedoms, a Cairo-based human rights organization, reported that at least 50 death sentences have been issued and carried out at least 39 since the beginning of the year. Earlier this month, the series “Choice 2”, produced by the security services, was subjected to violent criticism for its portrayal of the killings in Kerdasa and the Rab’a massacre. Social media users described the TV series as a “rewriting of history” and said it falsified events in order to tarnish the image of the opposition and positively portray the army and security forces.
The organization also criticized the show, describing it as an attempt to falsify reality, saying: “The state is trying to give this campaign of repression a veneer of legitimacy by financing TV series such as Choice – a series that tries to launder the regime’s crimes against its critics.” In a report seen by “Middle East Eye”, the NGO said that at least 26 people are at risk of imminent execution in the country, after being charged with a range of criminal, political and non-political charges. “Mass trials continue despite widespread international condemnation because they are simply ineligible to meet the basic requirements of international law on due process and fair trial rights,” the report said.
Source: بوابة الحرية والعدالة by fj-p.com.
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