EXTERNAL (for general distribution) AI Index: MDE 12/07/94
5 April 1994
Further information on UA 112/94 (MDE 12/06/94, 18 March 1994) - Death Penalty
EGYPT Salah al-Sayyid SULAYMAN
'Issam Mohammad 'Abd al-Rahman AL-TOUNI
Nour al-Din Sulayman Mohammad 'ALI
Amin Isma'il AL-MUSAILHI
Tariq 'Abd al-Nabi Hassan AL-FAHAL
'Adel al-Sayyid 'ABD AL-QODOUS (in absentia)
Tharwat Salah SHAHHATA (in absentia)
Ahmed Isma'il 'OTHMAN (in absentia)
Yasser 'Ali AL-SIRRI (in absentia)
According to Al-Ahram newspaper of 4 April 1994, the President of the Republic
has now ratified the death sentences passed on the nine people named above.
Although the first five listed above 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 background below). Their execution
may be imminent.
The nine were sentenced to death by the Supreme Military Court in Cairo, which
pronounced judgment in the case known as the attempted assassination of Prime
Minister Dr 'Atef Sidqi on 17 March.
During the last 21 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,
Copts, tourists, government officials and many police and prison officers.
The nine people named above (including four sentenced in absentia) were
sentenced to death by a military court, even though all of them are believed
to be civilians. These death sentences, now ratified by the President of the
Republic, are subject to review by the Military Appeals' Bureau, also headed
by the President of the Republic. Such procedures fall 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 death sentences passed on the above nine people
have been ratified, and urging that the President use his constitutional right
to grant clemency and commute these and all other pending death sentences.
If these men are executed, Amnesty International will consider them summary
and arbitrary executions;
- expressing concern at the sudden upsurge in the use of the death penalty
in Egypt (51 death sentences have been passed by military courts since December