The Advocates for Human Rights submitted a stakeholder report on the Death Penalty in Egypt to the thirty-fourth Session of the Working Group on the Universal Periodic Review. The report outlines human rights violations in Egypt in the context of the death penalty and individuals charged with capital crimes.
The Government of Egypt has recently increased the use of the death penalty in politically motivated cases. Between January 2014 and February 2018, for example, courts recommended death sentences for at least 2,159 individuals. In 2017, Egypt ranked third worldwide in number of death sentences handed down. The death penalty in Egypt is not reserved for the “most serious” crimes, and often is an available punishment for offenses that do not involve an intentional killing or any killing at all. Further, Egypt continues to sentence people to death and try people on death-eligible charges for offenses committed when they were under the age of 18.
Legal safeguards against torture are ineffective, and individuals accused of capital crimes are subjected to enforced disappearances, incommunicado detention, torture, and other forms of ill-treatment. In capital cases, courts disregard accounts of torture used to obtain confessions. Egypt has failed to end or impartially investigate torture and mistreatment in detention facilities, and prison reports indicate a lack of food, health care, and other necessities in these facilities. Lastly, the routine use of mass trials and military courts for civilian trials violate the constitutional rights to due process and adequate legal representation.
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