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Further information on UA 368/93 (MDE 12/18/93, 15 October) - Egypt: death penalty / legal concern: Yahya Mustafa Imam Shahrour, Ahmed Mohammad Hammouda, Hesham Taha Ahmed Salim

, Index number: MDE 12/026/1993

The three men named above were sentenced to death by the Supreme Military Court in Alexandria in two separate political cases on 14 October 1993. According to Al-Ahram newspaper of 30 November the death sentences have now been ratified by the President. Although the three men may submit petitions to the Military Appeals Bureau, they have no right of appeal.

EXTERNAL (for general distribution) AI Index: MDE/12/26/93
Distr: UA/SC
1 December 1993
Further information on UA 368/93 (MDE 12/18/93, 15 October 1993) - Death
Penalty/Legal Concern
EGYPT:Yahya Mustafa Imam SHAHROUR
Ahmed Mohammad HAMMOUDA
Hesham Taha Ahmed SALIM
The three men named above were sentenced to death by the Supreme Military Court
in Alexandria in two separate political cases on 14 October 1993. According
to Al-Ahram newspaper of 30 November the death sentences have now been ratified
by the President of the Republic. Although the three men may submit petitions
to the Military Appeals Bureau, they have no right of appeal as provided for
by the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (see below).
Yahya Mustafa Imam SHAHROUR was sentenced to death in the case known as Talai'
al-Fatah (Vanguards of the Conquest) - Group 3, in which 33 people were tried.
Charges against those convicted included reviving the banned Islamic group
known as Gihad (Holy Struggle) and attempting to overthrow the government.
Ahmed Mohammad HAMMOUDA and Hesham Taha Ahmed SALIM were among 19 defendants
accused in Military Case no. 20. Charges included planning the assassination
of government officials.
BACKGROUND INFORMATION
During the last 18 months politically motivated acts of violence by armed
opposition groups have escalated sharply in Egypt. Islamic militant groups
have committed deliberate and arbitrary killings, which Amnesty International
has condemned. Victims have included a writer known for his secularist views,
tourists, Copts, government officials and police and prison officers.
The three people named above were sentenced to death by a military court, even
though all of them are civilians. (For further information on this issue see
recent Amnesty International document Military trials of civilians: a catalogue
of human rights violations, MDE 12/16/93, October 1993). 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 guarantee that everyone who
is convicted shall have the right to their conviction and sentence being 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.
RECOMMENDED ACTION: Please send telegrams/telexes/faxes/express and airmail
letters either in Arabic, French, English or in your own language:
-expressing concern that the above three people have been sentenced to death
and urging that the President use his constitutional right to grant clemency
2
and commute these and all other pending death sentences; if they are executed
Amnesty International will consider them to be summary and arbitrary executions;
-urging that civilians should not be tried by military courts and calling for
new trials in civilian courts which comply with international standards to
which Egypt is a state party (the International Covenant on Civil and Political
Rights);
- expressing concern at the sudden upsurge in the use of the death penalty
in Egypt (39 death sentences have been passed by military courts since December
1992 and 19 executions have now taken place), 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.
APPEALS TO
His Excellency
Muhammad Hosni Mubarak
President of the Arab Republic of Egypt
'Abedine Palace
Cairo, Egypt
Telegram: President Mubarak, Cairo, Egypt
Telexes: 93794 WAZRA UN
Faxes: +202 260 54 17
Salutation: Your Excellency
COPIES OF YOUR APPEALS TO:
The Human Rights Department
Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Corniche al-Nil
Cairo, Egypt
Faxes: +202 723173
Dr Fathi Sorour
Speaker
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 11th January 1994.

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