Three men are facing imminent execution in Egypt. Muhammed Gayiz Sabbah, Usama ‘Abed al-Ghani al-Nakhlawi and Younis Muhammed Abu Gareer were convicted of terrorist offences after a grossly unfair trial.
The three were tried before the (Emergency) Supreme State Security Court in Ismailia in connection with a series of bomb attacks in Taba and elsewhere on the Sinai Peninsula in October 2004.
Amnesty International condemned these attacks, which left at least 34 people dead, and called on the Egyptian authorities to bring those responsible to justice in accordance with international standards and without recourse to the death penalty.
The men denied the charges, but the emergency court sentenced them to death in November 2006. Ten other people were convicted in connection with the bomb attacks and sentenced to terms of imprisonment.
Muhammed Gayiz Sabbah, Usama ‘Abed al-Ghani al-Nakhlawi and Younis Muhammed Abu Gareer continue to be held on death row in separate cells in Liman Tora Prison and are allowed short family visits only once a month.
Amnesty International opposes the death penalty in all cases, irrespective of the crimes that were committed, on the grounds that it violates the right to life and constitutes the ultimate form of cruel, inhuman and degrading punishment. It is particularly abhorrent that Muhammed Sabbah, Usama al-Nakhlawi and Younis Abu Gareer are facing execution after a grossly unfair trial before a special court after being convicted on the basis of “confessions” they allege were extracted from them under torture.
The trial was marred by a long list of violations, some of which were witnessed by an Amnesty International observer at the trial in July 2005.
The African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights has called for a stay of the executions. Amnesty International and others are also urging the authorities to uphold their international obligations, halt the executions and hold a fair retrial before a civilian court without recourse to the death penalty to ensure that justice is done and is seen to be done.
Egypt: Executions imminent after unfair trials
29 June 2007