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Egypt: Death penalty: Mohammad Hussein al-Sayyid

, رقم الوثيقة: MDE 12/026/1997

On 19 May 1997 the Court of Cassation upheld the death sentence against Mohammad Hussein al-Sayyid. He was sentenced to death by a criminal court on 25 July 1995 after being convicted of murder. His final hope for clemency now lies with the President.

EXTERNAL AI Index: MDE 12/26/97
UA 154/97 Death Penalty 29 May 1997
EGYPTMohammad Hussein al-Sayyid
On 19 May 1997 the Court of Cassation upheld the death sentence against Mohammad
Hussein al-Sayyid. His final hope for clemency now lies with the President
of the Republic. If the President ratifies the sentence, the prisoner could
be executed within the next few weeks.
Mohammad Hussein al-Sayyid was sentenced to death by a criminal court on 25
July 1995, after being found guilty of a murder committed in December 1994.
BACKGROUND INFORMATION
The death penalty, which is imposed in Egypt for criminal offences such as
drug use or trafficking and murder, and for offences qualified as "terrorism",
has been used extensively in the country in recent years. So far this year
Amnesty International has recorded 18 death sentences passed by military,
criminal and (Emergency) State Security courts. Six people sentenced to death
in previous years have been executed during the same period. Furthermore, since
October 1992 when President Hosni Mubarak began issuing special decrees
referring civilians to be tried by military courts,
74 death sentences have been passed by such courts and 54 executions have been
carried out.
Death sentences in criminal cases are submitted to the Mufti, the highest
religious authority in the country, for approval. This is a routine measure,
as he approves the vast majority of them. They are then passed on to the
President of the Republic or his nominee for ratification. Final verdicts by
criminal courts can be appealed against before the Court of Cassation only
when it can be proved that there were procedural irregularities in the trial.
The death sentences issued by military courts are subject to ratification
by the President of the Republic, and then to review by the Military Appeals
Bureau, also headed by the President of the Republic.
RECOMMENDED ACTION: Please send telegrams/telexes/express/airmail letters in
Arabic, English, French, or your own language:
- acknowledging the seriousness of the crime for which Mohammad Hussein
al-Sayyid was 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 the President to use his constitutional powers to grant clemency and
commute this 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.
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
2
Salutation: Your Excellency
COPIES TO:
Ms Nayla Gabr
The Human Rights Department
Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Corniche al-Nil, Cairo, Egypt
Faxes: (20 2) 574 9667
Dr Fathi Sorour
Speaker
The People’s Assembly
Magles al-Sha’ab 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 15 July 1997.

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