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Egypt: Death penalty

, رقم الوثيقة: MDE 12/006/1999

On 10 February 1999 Nabiha Sallama ‘Abd al-'Aziz and Imam Mohammad Zaki were sentenced to death for murder.

PUBLIC AI Index: MDE 12/06/99
EXTRA 22/99 Death Penalty 15 February 1999
EGYPTImam Mohammad Zaki, aged 23
Nabiha Sallama ‘Abd al-’Aziz, (f), aged 35
On 10 February 1999, the Cairo Criminal Court sentenced Nabiha Sallama ‘Abd
al-Aziz(f) and her lover Imam Mohammad Zaki to death, after finding them guilty
of murdering her husband.
Once their sentences have been approved by the Mufti, the highest religious
authority in the country, they may be at imminent risk of execution.
BACKGROUND INFORMATION
The death penalty has been used extensively in Egypt in recent years. It is
usually applied for criminal offences such as drug use or trafficking and murder,
and for offences relating to "terrorism". In 1998, Amnesty International
recorded 73 death sentences passed by military, criminal and (Emergency) Supreme
State Security courts, and 48 executions. So far this year, at least four
death sentences have been passed by the Criminal Court.
Death sentences issued by criminal and (Emergency) Supreme State Security
courts are submitted to the Mufti for approval as a routine measure. They are
subsequently passed to the President of the Republic or his nominee for
ratification. Appeals against final verdicts by criminal courts can only be
submitted before the Court of Cassation when procedural irregularities in the
trial can be proved.
RECOMMENDED ACTION: Please send e-mails/telegrams/faxes/express/airmail
letters in Arabic, English, French, or your own language:
- acknowledging the seriousness of the crime for which Nabiha Sallama ‘Abd
al-’Aziz and Imam Mohammad Zaki were convicted, but explaining your opposition
to the death penalty in all cases as a violation of the right to life, pointing
out that it has never been shown to have a unique deterrent effect, and is
brutalizing to all involved in its application;
- urging Egypt’s President to use his constitutional powers to grant clemency
and commute these and all other pending death sentences;
- 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;
- reminding the government of Egypt of its commitment to the Universal
Declaration of Human Rights, in particular Article 3: "Everyone has the right
to life ...".
APPEALS TO:
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
Faxes: + 202 390 1998
E-mail: webmaster@presidency.gov.eg
Salutation: Your Excellency
COPIES TO:
The Human Rights Department
Ministry of Foreign Affairs
2
Corniche al-Nil, Cairo, Egypt
Faxes: + 202 574 9533
Dr Fathi Sorour
Speaker
The People’s Assembly
Magles al-Sha’ab Street, Cairo, Egypt
Faxes: + 202 574 9175
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 15 February 1999.

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