The Elders call on Egyptian courts to overturn death sentences

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Friday, 2 May, 2014

Kofi Annan: These rulings do not meet accepted international standards and could provoke further unrest in Egypt After more than 600 people were sentenced to death on Monday, The Elders appeal for a fair, transparent judicial process in Egypt.

The Elders are shocked by the death sentences passed on 28 April by an Egyptian court on 683 people accused of violent rioting in 2013. This is the second ruling of its kind in two months, following the equally disturbing death sentences passed by the same judge on 529 people in March.

The Elders join others, including respected Egyptian human rights organisations, in deploring judicial decisions of this kind, which are deeply flawed because they are not based on due process and the rule of law. In consequence, The Elders believe that they will prove counter-productive and further undermine Egypt’s stability. Whatever the outcome, The Elders oppose the death penalty under all circumstances.

Kofi Annan, Chair of The Elders and former UN Secretary-General, said:

“Harsh sentences of this kind risk creating greater instability in Egypt rather than reducing it.

“The judiciary has a responsibility to review these cases in line with accepted international standards. We appeal to Egypt’s higher authorities to ensure that the judicial review process is fair and transparent.”

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