Author Topic: Death sentences are further indictment of new regime  (Read 1167 times)

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Death sentences are further indictment of new regime
« on: March 25, 2014, 09:57:19 PM »
Death sentences are further indictment of new regime
 

Islamic Human Rights Commission

24 March 2014

Press release: US has blood on its hands over Egypt death verdicts

The decision by an Egyptian court today to sentence 529 members of the
Muslim Brotherhood to death in an ongoing crackdown by the military
regime in Cairo is a damning indictment of the US and Saudi Arabian
policies in the region.

A court in Minya handed down the sentences against the defendants for
their alleged role in riots last August following the bloody dispersal
by authorities of protest camps in Cairo set up by the Muslim
Brotherhood to oppose the military coup and ousting of Egypt's first
ever democratically elected president Mohammed Morsi.

Since the coup, the military regime has turned the screw against the
Muslim Brotherhood, Egypt's single most popular political movement,
outlawing it as a terrorist organisation and rounding up hundreds of its
- and other opposition groups' - leading figures in an attempt to
eliminate all political opposition. Many of them have been subject to
cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment and even torture, especially by
members of the countrys Interior Ministry.

IHRC is shocked but not surprised that Egyptian authorities have decided
to prosecute opposition members of the opposition but has so far not
brought a single member of the security forces or supporter of the
regime to account for the storming on 14th August of two protest camps
at al-Nahda Square and Rabaa al-Adawiya Mosque. According to the Muslim
Brotherhood some 2600 protestors were killed in Rabaa al-Adawiya alone.
Eye witness reports and TV footage document the use of excessive force
and live rounds by security forces against the largely unarmed
protestors.

The lack of accountability of state officials under the current
administration and the lack of independence of the Egyptian judiciary
also makes fair trials impossible. The mass trial of the 529 defendants
in Minya took place over just two sessions amid complaints from defence
lawyers that they were not being allowed to present their clients'
cases. Today's sentences are likely to be followed on Tuesday by the
mass trial of another 700 Brotherhood supporters.

Earlier this month IHRC made a submission to the United Nations
Universal Periodic Review of human rights citing the continuous and
routine nature of human rights abuses in Egypt following the coup
d'etat.

The Egyptian regime has been supported in its endeavours by the US which
has stubbornly resisted calls to call the overthrow of the civilian
government a military coup and persisted with the provision of billions
of dollars of aid to the government. Egypt's generals have also
benefitted from billions of dollars in emergency assistance from a
counter-revolutionary push by Saudi Arabia and other Gulf states to
preempt the potential spread of the Arab Spring to their own shores.

IHRC chair Massoud Shadjareh said: "It makes a mockery of US policy, 
and particularly Obama's speech in Cairo in 2009 at the start of his
presidency in which he pledged to forge a new beginning between the US
and Muslim states based on 'principles of justice and progress;
tolerance and the dignity of all human beings.' The US' continuing
support for military dictatorships shows that nothing has changed. As
long as oppressing people is in the interests of the US, Israel and
Saudi Arabia it remains business as usual."

Notes to Editors:

For media enquiries please email media@ihrc.org or call 4420 8904 4222
or 447958 522196[Ends]