Africa Egypt sentences 4 to death for 2015 ‘acts of violence’

Egypt sentences 4 to death for 2015 ‘acts of violence’

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Egypt sentences 4 to death for 2015 ‘acts of violence’

EU parliament voices ‘serious concern’ over number of death sentences handed down by Egyptian courts

An Egyptian court on Monday sentenced four people to death for “acts of violence” that took place in Cairo in 2015, according to a local judicial source.

“In a preliminary sentence, the Giza Criminal Court ruled to execute four individuals — two of whom were tried in absentia — after they were convicted of trying to assassinate a judge and running a terrorist cell,” an unnamed judicial source was quoted as saying by local media. 

The court sentenced another 12 people, all of whom were tried in absentia, to life in prison in the same case, while 14 others were slapped with 15 years each.

The 30 defendants in the case were all convicted of belonging to a “terrorist cell”, attempting to assassinate Judge Fathi al-Bayoumi, attacking public and private property and possessing illegal weapons.

Prosecution authorities first referred the defendants to the criminal court in late 2015.

Monday’s sentences, however, are merely preliminary and remain subject to appeal before the Court of Cassation, the highest judicial body in Egypt’s court system.

– EU ‘concerned’

Earlier this month, the European Parliament condemned Egypt’s frequent use of the death penalty, calling on the Egyptian authorities to “halt any imminent executions”.

It went on to voice its “serious concern” over mass trials being conducted in Egypt and what it described as the “large number” of death sentences they were handing down.

Egypt has been roiled by turmoil since the military ousted and imprisoned Mohamed Morsi, the country’s first freely elected president, in a bloody 2013 military coup.

In the almost five years since, hundreds of people have been sentenced to death on charges of “inciting violence” under the post-coup regime of President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi.

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