Arab Organisation for Human Rights in the (AOHR UK) criticised the decision of the State Security Criminal Court in Cairo to refer the case of the Supreme Guide of the Muslim Brotherhood, Mohamed Badie, and seven other prominent members of an opposition political group to the Grand Mufti of the Republic to take his legal opinion in preparation for their execution. It called this step as an abusive measure by the judiciary system to suppress and terrorise opponents.
The decision was issued in an arbitrary manner on Monday, May 22, 2023, after many sessions that lacked the minimum standards for a fair trial, in which the detainees were deprived of private meetings with legal representatives or being able to defend themselves before the judiciary, which relied in its judgment only on security investigations and confessions extracted under torture and threats.
The names of those referred to the Grand Mufti are Mohamed Badie, Mahmoud Ezzat, Mohamed Al-Beltagy, Amr Zaki, Osama Yassin, and Safwat Hegazy, in addition to Asim Abdelmaged and Mohamed Abdel Maqsoud, who are being tried in absentia.
This case bates back the events of “Al-Manassa” in July 2013 near the Rabaa Al-Adawiya sit-in, in which thousands of civilians supporting President Mohamed Morsi and objecting to his removal took part in, and the army and police forces carried out a massacre against those in the sit-ins on July 27, 2013. About 80 civilians were killed, and 300 others were injured, including those who sustained permanent disabilities. Dozens of them were arrested, including those who remain missing until today.
Instead of redressing the victims and punishing the perpetrators of this massacre, the court charged those who survived the massacre at that time with several charges including gathering, inciting violence, participating in the killing of civilians, and attacking military installations.
This decision is a new attempt by the Egyptian regime to obscure the truth and protect the real perpetrators of the most heinous massacres carried out against the opposition in modern Egyptian history.
The international silence has encouraged those responsible for this massacre and the massacres that followed, and allowed them to escape punishment. It is also now encouraging them to issue these arbitrary rulings.
AOHR UK warned that dozens of detainees sentenced to death after unfair trials are in imminent danger, as special judicial “terrorism departments” and military courts issued death sentences against more than 880 opponents, and the death sentence became final for more than 190 people after exhausting the legal degrees of appeal.
The sentence has already been implemented against at least 100 people whose cases were documented by AOHR UK, while at least 90 detainees are still at risk of being executed any time.
AOHR UK called on civil society, democratic political forces, and human rights defenders around the world to show solidarity with the detainees in Egypt, and to put pressure on the governments of countries that still have security, commercial, and diplomatic relations with Egypt, to abolish the death penalty in Egypt, and to stop the ongoing violations of the current regime which committed the most serious crimes against citizens, simply for expressing their political opinions.