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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 7/31/21

24 Muslim Brotherhood members sentenced to death in Egypt

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An Egyptian kangaroo court on Thursday sentenced 24 members of the Muslim Brotherhood to death in two separate cases, the daily Sabah reported.

The state-owned Al-Ahram newspaper said the Damanhour Criminal Court ordered the death penalty for 16 defendants affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood, including Mohamed Sweidan, a regional leader of the organization, for their involvement in the bombing of a police bus in Rashid (Rosetta) city in the Beheira governorate in 2015.

Six of the defendants were tried in absentia. The report added that the blast killed three police officers and wounded 39 others. The same court also handed down the death penalty to eight Muslim Brotherhood members, including two in absentia, who were accused of killing a police officer in December 2014 in Ad Dilinjat city in Beheira.

There are no exact figures for death penalties issued in Egypt this year except for 10 handed down in April and those upheld against 12 Muslim Brotherhood leaders over the Rabaa sit-in dispersal case in 2013.

Founded in 1928 in Egypt, the Muslim Brotherhood became the main opposition movement in Egypt despite decades of crackdown, and has inspired side movements and political parties throughout the Muslim world. But it is still banned in several countries, including Egypt, for its alleged links to terrorism.

Earlier in 2021, Amnesty International denounced Egypt's "significant spike" in recorded executions. The human rights organization estimated a more than threefold rise to 107 last year, from 32 in 2019.

American Muslim groups urge suspension of US aid to Egypt until el-Sisi Regime cancels politically-motivated executions

The US Council of Muslim Organizations (USCMO), the largest coalition of major national, regional, and local Muslim organizations, on June 28 sent a letter to Secretary of State Anthony J. Blinken calling on the Biden administration and Congress to demand that "the Egyptian government halt its plans to conduct a mass execution of democracy activists, faith leaders, and other political prisoners in the coming days."

The USCMO letter in part said:

Indeed, Egypt is ruled by a brutal military dictatorship with no regard for human rights, democracy, or justice. Under the military's reign, Egypt has become the world's third-largest executioner. In October and November 2020 alone, the junta executed 57 men and women. A 2020 Amnesty International report found that of those 57 people, over a quarter were "sentenced to death in cases relating to political violence following grossly unfair trials marred by forced 'confessions' and other serious human rights violations including torture and enforced disappearances."

So far in 2021, 51 men and women have been put to death, including a Christian monk. In 2014, Impartial UN experts described the Egyptian government's mass executions of political prisoners as a "continuing and unacceptable mockery of justice that casts a big shadow over the Egyptian legal system."

The mass detention of political prisoners has been ongoing since 2013, when the Egyptian military overthrew the democratically elected government and massacred over a thousand anti-coup demonstrators at Rabaa Square, an atrocity Human Rights Watch called "the world's largest killings of demonstrators in a single day in recent history."

Egypt the third-most prolific executioner in the world after China and Iran

Since the rise to power of Field Marshad Abdel Fattah el-Sisi in Egypt following the overthrow of his predecessor Mohamed Morsi in July 2013, the country has seen a wave of repression against political dissidents, sparking outrage from human rights organizations.

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Author and journalist. Author of Islamic Pakistan: Illusions & Reality; Islam in the Post-Cold War Era; Islam & Modernism; Islam & Muslims in the Post-9/11 America. Currently working as free lance journalist. Executive Editor of American (more...)
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