The Nobel Women’s Initiative has released a statement denouncing the recent en masse death penalties in Egypt as a clear failure to promote the rule of law and protect citizens’ right to freedom of expression and political opposition.
The statement was released in response to an Egyptian court’s decision to sentence 683 men to the death penalty without a fair trial on April 28. Those sentenced are alleged members of the political opposition. The same court sentenced 529 people to the death penalty without a fair trial earlier in April. In the statement the Nobel laureates express their concern over the increasingly authoritarian nature of Egypt’s government, particularly its violent repression of members of the political opposition.
Human rights abuses against political adversaries and peaceful protestors have escalated since the current Egyptian government came to power in a military-backed coup d’état last July. Allies of the former President Morsi face particular threats and violence. In the statement, the Nobel laureates call on Egypt to protect the rights of all Egyptian citizens, including those who oppose the current government.
Read the full statement below or download it here.
The Nobel Women’s Initiative denounces death penalties in Egypt
Ottawa—May 9, 2014
The Nobel Women’s Initiative denounces Egypt’s failure to uphold a fair and just judicial system and protect citizens’ right to freedom of expression and political opposition.
Earlier this week a court in the southern city of Minya sentenced 683 men to the death penalty en masse without a fair trial. This verdict comes weeks after the same court condemned 529 people to the death penalty en masse, also without a fair trial. Those sentenced are alleged supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood—former President Morsi’s party—who have faced increasing violence and oppression since the military-backed regime came to power through a coup d’état last July.
We are greatly concerned with the increasing authoritarian nature of the ruling regime—particularly its violent repression of members of the political opposition. Human rights abuses against political adversaries and peaceful protestors are escalating at an alarming rate. A disturbing trend has emerged where citizens in opposition to the ruling regime are subjected to extreme punishment, such as the death penalty.
The Egyptian government’s violation of citizens’ human rights is contributing to the deterioration of democracy and the rule of law in Egypt. We call on Egypt to protect the human rights of all Egyptian citizens, particularly those in opposition to the regime. We urge Egypt to root judicial decisions in due process and the rule of law—which includes providing fair trials and access to legal defense to those accused of crimes. Lastly, we urge the international community to stand in solidarity with all Egyptians peacefully organizing for the restoration of justice and peace in their country.