EXTERNAL (for general distribution) AI Index: MDE 12/01/94
UA 01/94 Death Penalty 4 January 1994
EGYPT 'Abd al-Shafi Ahmed IBRAHIM
Amnesty International is concerned that 'Abd al-Shafi Ahmed Ibrahim was
sentenced to death on 30 December 1993 and that he could be executed if his
sentence is upheld.
According to Al-Ahram newspaper (31 December), on 30 December the Supreme State
Security Court pronounced judgment in the case of 12 defendants who were charged
in connection with the murder of Farag Foda, a well-known secularist writer,
in June 1992. Three other defendants were given prison sentences ranging from
10 to three years (two of them in absentia) and eight were acquitted.
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, in addition to Farag Foda, tourists,
Copts, government officials and police and prison officers.
Farag Foda, a 49-year-old writer, was shot dead on 8 June 1992 by two masked
men while getting into his car outside his office in Cairo. His 16-year-old
son and a companion were wounded. Farag Foda, a professor of agriculture, wrote
a weekly column for the magazine October and was strongly opposed to Islamic
extremism. He had published several books on, among other things, the Muslim
Brotherhood, secularism and terrorism.
RECOMMENDED ACTION: Please send telegrams/telexes/express and airmail letters
either in Arabic, French, English or in your own language:
- expressing concern that 'Abd al-Shafi Ahmed Ibrahim has been sentenced to
death and urging that the President commute this death sentence if it is referred
to him for possible exercise of presidential clemency;
- expressing concern at the sudden upsurge in the use of the death penalty
in Egypt (at least 55 people were sentenced to death in 1993 and 43, including
15 sentenced in previous years, were executed), 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.