Thursday, July 05, 2007

Death Sentences after Unfair Trials

Three Egyptian men are facing a death sentences after being convicted of involvement in the 2004 Taba bombings in which at least 34 people were killed and many more injured. Amnesty International doesn't know if Muhammed Gayiz Sabbah, Usama ‘Abd al-Ghani
al-Nakhlawi and Yunis Muhammed Abu Gareer were involved in the bombings. It does, however, know that they face execution after an unfair trial before a special court and that their convictions are based on “confessions” extracted under torture. If the Egyptian state does execute these men, it will have arbitrarily deprived them of their right to life and violated international law.

Why does Amnesty International get involved in these cases? Because these men were condemned after unfair proceedings; tortured; denied justice by State of Emergency provisions; and because the death penalty is the ultimate in the denial of the right to life and cruel and unusual punishment. These are the core human rights violations in Egypt -- they affect not just people accused of crimes against the nation's security, but against all Egyptian citizens. We can not attack human rights violations and be blind to those abuses that occur, according to the state, in the name of national security.

Please write to the Egyptian authorities calling on them
 Halt the executions of Muhammed Gayiz Sabbah, Usama ‘Abd al-Ghani al-Nakhlawi and Yunis
Muhammed Abu Gareer, who were sentenced to death after a grossly unfair trial.
 Ensure that all those convicted in this case are retried before an ordinary criminal court in proceedings that meet international fair trial standards, including the right to appeal.
 Order a thorough and impartial investigation into all allegations of torture and other ill-treatment, bring to justice those responsible for any abuses, and give full
reparation to the victims.
 Commute all death sentences and announce a moratorium on the death penalty with a view to abolition.

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