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A court of Egyptian military leader, General Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, who assumed the title of Field Marshal after overthrowing the elected President Mohamed Morsi in July 2013, Monday sentenced 20 supporters of Morsi to death.

The brutal military dictator el-Sisi has been cracking down on the opposition since the overthrow of President Morsi. He has killed more than 800 protesters in a single day, and has imprisoned tens of thousands of dissidents since he took power.

Not surprisingly, el-Sisi became President in a controversial election in 2014.

In July 2013, the ouster of President Morsi sparked many protests by his supporters, including a pair that were held at al-Nahda Square and Rabaa al-Adawiya Square in Cairo on August 13, 2013, which led to the killing of several hundreds of demonstrators by security police.

Rights groups say the army’s crackdown on the supporters of Morsi has led to the deaths of over 1,400 people and arrest of 22,000 others, including some 200 people who have been sentenced to death in mass trials.

In late 2014, an Egyptian court issued death sentences to 188 Morsi supporters, which sparked an international outcry against the controversial verdicts. In 2015, the death penalties were reduced in 149 cases.

In October 2016 a kangaroo court in Cairo confirmed a 20-year prison sentence against Mohamed Morsi. In April 2015, a Cairo court had sentenced Morsi to 20 years in prison for inciting violence against protesters who had staged a sit-in outside the Ittihadiya presidential palace in December 2012, when Morsi was still in power.

Mohamed Ahmed, an expert at the Amnesty International, said in a press statement last month that “Egypt is currently facing a severe human rights crisis that can never be compared to the situation during Mubarak’s rule,” referring to former dictator Hosni Mubarak who was toppled after a popular revolt in 2011.

Amnesty International annual report of 2016/2017 said: “The authorities used mass arbitrary arrests to suppress demonstrations and dissent, detaining journalists, human rights defenders and protesters, and restricted the activities of human rights organizations. The National Security Agency (NSA) subjected hundreds of detainees to enforced disappearance; officers of the NSA and other security forces tortured and otherwise ill-treated detainees. Security forces used excessive lethal force during regular policing and in incidents that may have amounted to extrajudicial executions.”

Criminal courts continued to conduct mass unfair trials involving dozens — sometimes hundreds — of defendants on charges of participating in protests and political violence following the ousting of Mohamed Morsi as president in July 2013, the Amnesty report said adding: In some trials involving defendants who had been subjected to enforced disappearance, courts accepted “confessions” obtained through torture as evidence.

Interestingly, an Egyptian kangaroo court on March 2, 2017 acquitted former Egyptian dictator Air Marshal Hosni Mubarak over his involvement in the killings of hundreds of protesters in 2011. The US-client Air Marshal Hosni Mubarak ruled for more than 30 years. In June 2012 he resigned and handed over power to army.

In addition to dedicated special courts for terrorism-related trials, military courts unfairly tried hundreds of civilians, including in mass trials, the Amnesty report pointed out adding: In August the authorities extended a law vastly expanding the jurisdiction of military courts to include crimes committed against “public installations” for a further five years.

Abdus Sattar Ghazali is the Chief Editor of the Journal of America (www.journalofamerica.net) emil: asghazali2011 (@) gmail.com

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One Comment

  1. K SHESHU BABU says:

    After usurping of power from the elected government, the Egyptian dictatorship has consistently violated human rights. Death penalties are being awarded to number of people without free and fair trial. The kangaroo courts have no mercy and capital punishment has become a routine verdict. People of Egypt should be supported by all civil rights organisations in their struggle against tyrannical and despotic rule