Target: Ali Gomaa, Grand Mufti of Egypt
Goal: Repeal death sentence for 529 men condemned during mass trial
An Egyptian judge recently sentenced 529 men to death in a mass trial that lasted only two days, becoming the largest capital punishment case in recent history. The men, supporters of former President Mohamed Morsi, were arrested during a wave of unrest that saw one police officer and dozens of civilians killed. All 529 of the men were collectively convicted for the murder of the single police officer, as well as the attempted murder of two others.
During the trial, defense lawyers reported being threatened and intimidated by security personnel, as well as denied access to the evidence against their clients. There was no review of evidence for the court, and no witnesses were called to testify. Defense attorneys were unable to present their entire case, as they were cut off by the judge, who issued his verdict without warning at the beginning of the second hearing.
This is only one in a series of trials against demonstrators who supported Mohamed Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood party during last year’s military coup. The Muslim Brotherhood has since been labeled a terrorist organization by the new military government, prompting supporters to be tried en masse for their roles in political protest. A court in the same region is set to try another 683 defendants in a single trial.
Sentencing over five hundred people to death under the same charge is an affront to Egypt’s legal system. The judge showed shocking disregard to the defendants’ right to a fair trial, and made a mockery of the judicial process. Demand that the mass death sentence be overturned, and that a proper trial be conducted.
Dear Ali Gomaa, Grand Mufti of Egypt,
Recently, 529 men were sentenced to death in a mass trial in the Egyptian city of Minya. The men are all charged with the murder of a single police officer, as well as the attempted murder of two others. During their trial, the judge did not review evidence or hear witness testimony, but instead delivered a guilty verdict on the second day of proceedings. The defense was not allowed access to evidence, nor were they allowed to present their complete case.
These 529 men were sentenced to death for the same crime, with no evidence or testimony presented, making a mockery of the court system. The presiding judge has shown blatant disregard for judicial process and the value of life. I demand that the hastily-delivered sentences be overturned, and that each defendant receive a proper and fair trial.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Jonathunder via Creative Commons