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Egypt - Committee Against Torture - Death penalty - October 2023

Date: October 2, 2023
Country: Egypt
Type: Intl Mechanism Submission
Issues: Death Penalty
Mechanism: UN Human Rights Committee
Report Type: Shadow/Parallel Report
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This report addresses Egypt's compliance with its human rights obligations regarding the death penalty. Egypt ranks in the top five countries for executions. This report provides updates to the written information the coauthors submitted in January 2023 at the List of Issues stage (the January 2023 Suggested LOI), and provides additional information on women sentenced to death in Egypt and the Egyptian Government's misplaced reliance on "state sovereignty" in response to calls for the country to abolish the death penalty.

According to Reprieve, between January 2020 and March 2022, Egypt executed at least 230 people. Reprieve reports that Egyptian courts have held at least 53 mass trials since 2011, in which 2,182 people were sentenced to death. This high number of executions and death sentences is particularly concerning in light of evidence of due process violations, including the use of torture to extract confessions, inadequate access to counsel for people accused of capital crimes, a lack of transparency in court proceedings, and insufficient investigations of allegations of torture and other forms of cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment.

Legal safeguards against torture are ineffective, and individuals accused of capital crimes are subjected to enforced disappearances, incommunicado detention, torture, and other forms of inhuman treatment. Authorities conducting mass trials and trying civilians in military courts violate the constitutional rights to due process and adequate legal representation. Egypt has not taken concrete steps to reduce the number of crimes eligible for the death penalty, and the use of torture and other due process violations related to judicial proceedings render all death sentences arbitrary.

 In addition to information about the number of executions occurring in 2021 discussed in paragraph 18 of the January 2023 Suggested LOI, Egypt carried out 24 known executions in 2022. Egypt imposed 538 recorded death sentences in 2022, an increase from an estimated 356 in 2021. In 2023, Egypt carried out executions as recently as June 14.