by Egypt Solidarity Initiative
March 27, 2014
The military regime in Egypt is carrying out a reign of terror to consolidate its power. Responding to the emergency, the workers’ solidarity network MENA has launched an online petition to protest the atrocity of the fraudulent “trial” and mass death sentences imposed on 529 people. Please sign the petition here. You can learn more on MENA’s website. Below is the text of the petition.
We condemn the death sentences issued by a court in Minya province in Egypt on 24 March 2014 against 529 defendants who were found guilty of the murder of a police officer during the storming of Matay police station in August 2013.
The use of the death sentence against such a large number of defendants underscores that the current regime is not interested in finding out the truth about the events which led to this prosecution but rather in imposing collective punishment on its opponents.
The sentences were issued without hearing any arguments from the defence in a trial which lasted only 45 minutes according to defence lawyers.
International and local human rights organisations have documented numerous cases of mass arbitrary arrests, lack of access to legal representation and severe torture of detainees since the military’s intervention to remove Muslim Brotherhood affiliated president Muhammed Morsi from power on 3 July 2013.
We also note that according to Amnesty International around 1400 people were killed between 30 June 2013 and January 2014, the vast majority of them protesters. According to local human rights activists the numbers of detainees arrested during the same period may be as many as 21000.
In such circumstances it is impossible to have any confidence in this judgement.
We call for an end to the violent repression of protests in Egypt and fair trials for all accused.