An Egyptian Kangaroo Court Saturday (July 28) sentenced 75 supporters of the former President Mohammad Morsi to death.
Egyptian Kangaroo courts are on death sentences spree since the overthrow of Mohammad Morsi, the first democratically election president of Egypt by US client General Abdel Fattah el-Sissi who has since assumed the title of Field Marshall.
Last month Egypt’s Zagazig Criminal Court sentenced seven members of the Muslim Brotherhood organization to death over the alleged killing of a police conscript in the Nile Delta Governorate of Sharqiya in 2015.
Accusation list ‘ludicrous’
The Saturday death sentence verdict is part of a mass trial being conducted by the court involving 739 defendants alleged to have been involved in the 2013 sit-in, which was brutally broken up by the pro-military security forces killing hundreds.
International human rights groups have condemned the use of force and criticized the ongoing trial, alleging it violates Egypt’s constitution.
Amnesty International says the dispersal of the sit-in killed more than 800 protesters. Egypt’s government claimed many demonstrators were armed and 43 police officers were killed.
Husain Baoumi, an Egypt campaigner for Amnesty International, told Al Jazeera the court’s decision was “shocking” and “completely unfair … [as] not a single member of the security service has been held to account.”
Political analyst Maged Mandour was quoted by Al Jazeera as saying there is little hope the sentence will be overturned as the accused have not been given a fair trial.
“I think it’s very clear that the judiciary has been heavily politicised, the accusation list is ludicrous and it’s very hard to actually prove,” he told Al Jazeera from Zurich, Switzerland.
“It’s not the only case where clear biases have been shown.”
The Muslim Brotherhood was banned following Morsi’s overthrow in July 2013 in a coup led by the military junta led by General Abdel Fattah el-Sisi.
Death sentences spree
Reverting to the death sentences spree by the Egyptian Kangaroo courts since the overthrow of Mohammad Morsi, in July 2013.
On 28 April 2014, in the aftermath of a coup d’e’tat against President Mohammad Morsi, an Egyptian Kangaroo Court sentenced 683 alleged Muslim Brotherhood supporters to death, including the group’s supreme guide, Mohamed Badie, and confirmed the death sentences of 37 of 529 alleged supporters previously condemned.
Kangaroo Court Judge Saeed Youssef first attracted international condemnation and prompted an outcry from human-rights groups after he handed down the initial sentence for the 529 defendants on March 24, 2014 following a brief trial marked by irregularities. Later he reversed 492 of those 529 death sentences, commuting most of them to life in prison.
On January 2, 2018, Egyptian authorities executed five alleged members of the Muslim Brotherhood group. The defendants were convicted of what prosecution claimed “executing a terrorist attack in Kafr al-Sheikh governorate in April of 2015.”
Egyptian Kangaroo court places 169 Muslim Brotherhood members on terror list
Not surprisingly, an Egyptian kangaroo court in May this year placed 169 members of the banned Muslim Brotherhood group on the country’s terror list.
The defendants are facing charges of conspiring to infiltrate state institutions with the aim of overthrowing the regime by force and spreading chaos in the country.
The court’s decision is based on state security investigations, which claimed that the defendants attempted to revive the group’s activities by recruiting new members to its armed wings, spread rumors and provided financial and logistical assistance to the Brotherhood, which was designated a terrorist group in 2013.
Under the country’s anti-terrorism law, any person placed on the terror list is subject to a travel ban and having their assets frozen.
Egypt’s terror list contains over 1,500 names, including top Brotherhood leaders.
The list includes Egypt’s first democratically elected president Mohamed Morsi, who was overthrown by US Client General Abdel Fattah el-Sissi who has now assumed the title of Field Marshall.
The list also includes Brotherhood’s supreme guide Mohamed Badie, and the deputy supreme guide Mahmoud Ezzat, who fled Egypt in 2013.
The list also includes Ibrahim Mounir, the Brotherhood’s secretary-general in London, who has been convicted of planning attacks in Egypt from abroad.
Human Rights Watch Report of 2018
The New York-based Human Rights Watch (HRW) in its 2018 report said:
“President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi’s government maintained its zero-tolerance policy towards dissent, introducing repressive legislation, notably a nongovernmental organization (NGO) law that may end independent associations, reinstating a state of emergency and continuing near-absolute impunity for abuses by security forces under the pretext of fighting “terrorism.”
“Security forces rounded up hundreds of dissidents, mainly targeting the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood. The Ministry of Interior’s National Security Agency arbitrarily detained, disappeared, and tortured people. There were numerous incidents of what appeared to be extrajudicial killings, including of previously detained persons in staged “shoot-outs.”
“Authorities placed hundreds of people on terrorism lists and seized their assets for alleged terrorism links without due process.
“The government imposed a media blackout on its counterterrorism operations in Northern Sinai. Wilayat Sinai, an affiliate of the extremist group Islamic State (ISIS) operating there, targeted civilians as well as security forces.
“Military prosecutors continued to send hundreds of civilians to military trials in cases related to political dissent, whether violent or peaceful. President al-Sisi has approved in August 2016 a five-year extension of a 2014 law that expanded, to an unprecedented extent, grounds for trying civilians before military courts. Between October 2014 and September 2017, authorities sent at least 15,500 civilians to military courts including over 150 children.
“The Interior Ministry’s National Security Agency (NSA), operating with near-absolute impunity, was responsible for the most flagrant abuses, including widespread and systematic use of torture to coerce confessions. Torture techniques included beatings, prolonged painful stress positions, and electrocutions. Prosecutors rarely investigated torture claims and almost never dropped torture-tainted confessions.”
Abdus Sattar Ghazali is the Chief Editor of the Journal of America (www.journalofamerica.net) email: asghazali2011 (@) gmail.com