Document - Egypt: Death penalty / legal concern: Hussam Hassan Suleiman, Ahmad Mahmoud 'Abd al-Rahman
EXTERNAL (for general distribution)AI Index: MDE 12/09/95
EXTRA 65/95 Death Penalty / Legal Concern2 June 1995
EGYPT Hussam Hassan Suleiman
Ahmad Mahmoud 'Abd al-Rahman
Hussam Hassan Suleiman and Ahmad Mahmoud 'Abd al-Rahman were sentenced to death by the Supreme Military Court in Cairo on 31 May 1995 in a case involving a total of 42 defendants. They could be executed within weeks if their sentences are upheld.
The two men were members of Talai' al-Fatah, (Vanguards of the Conquest), a splinter group of Gihad, a banned Islamist organization. Hussam Hassan Suleiman and Ahmad Mahmoud 'Abd al-Rahman were sentenced to death; six others received life imprisonment with hard labour and 28 others received sentences ranging from one to fifteen years' imprisonment. Twelve others were acquitted. Charges against them included murder, sabotage and assault.
The death sentences are subject to ratification by the President of the Republic, and then review by the Military Appeals' Bureau, also headed by the President of the Republic. Such procedures fall far short of international standards for fair trial, as guaranteed by Article 14 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to which Egypt is a state party, which guarantees that all those convicted shall have the right to have their conviction sentence reviewed by a higher tribunal. The United Nations' Economic and Social Council has urged that these rights be respected in all cases involving the death penalty.
Since October 1992, when President Hosni Mubarak began issuing special decrees referring civilians to be tried by military courts, 64 death sentences have been passed by military courts and 46 executions have now been carried out.
RECOMMENDED ACTION: Please send telegrams/telexes/faxes/express and airmail letters either in Arabic, English, French or in your own language:
- expressing concern that Hussam Hassan Suleiman and Ahmad Mahmoud 'Abd al-Rahman have been sentenced to death and urging that the President use his constitutional powers to grant clemency and commute these and all other pending death sentences;
- expressing concern at the upsurge in the use of the death penalty in Egypt, and explaining Amnesty International's opposition to the death penalty as a violation of the right to life and the most extreme form of cruel and inhuman punishment;
- drawing attention to world trends to abolish or reduce the use of the death penalty, in accordance with Article 6 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to which Egypt is a state party.
His Excellency Mohammad Hosni Mubarak
President of the Arab Republic of Egypt
'Abedine Palace, Cairo, Egypt
Telegrams: President Mubarak, Cairo, Egypt
Telexes: 93794 WAZRA UN
Salutation: Your Excellency
COPIES OF YOUR APPEALS TO:
The Human Rights Department
Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Corniche al-Nil, Cairo, Egypt
Faxes: (20 2) 723 173
Dr Fathi Sorour
The People's Assembly
Magles al-Shaab Street, Cairo, Egypt
and to diplomatic representatives of Egypt accredited to your country.
PLEASE SEND APPEALS IMMEDIATELY. Check with the International Secretariat, or your section office, if sending appeals after 30 June 1995.