Egypt upholds death penalty policy in disregard of international recommendations

March 17th, 2010 by Editor

The International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) and the Egyptian Organization for Human Rights (EOHR) deplore that a few weeks after the UN Human Rights Council, in the framework of the “Universal Periodic Review”, called upon Egypt to “issue a moratorium on the death penalty with a view to abolishing it”, two executions have been carried out in Cairo on March 11th 20101.

FIDH and EOHR firmly condemn the death by hanging of Atef Rohyum Abd El Al Rohyum and Jihan Mohamed Ali1, on the charge of murder, after the Court of Cassation upheld their death sentence in February 2009.

Egypt’s policy relating to capital punishment recently gained attention during the 4th World Congress against Death Penalty which took place last month in Geneva, in which Egyptian human rights activists urged the government to abandon the death penalty which they believe may be pronounced after unfair judicial procedures or even the use of torture to extract confessions2.

FIDH has persistently appealed the Egyptian authorities to establish a moratorium on the death penalty. In 2005 FIDH submitted a report on the Death Penalty in Egypt to the African Commission on Human and People’s Rights (ACHPR) when the human rights record of Egypt was being reviewed by this Commission, and encouraged Egypt conform with the ACHPR 1999 resolution, which urged all States parties that still maintain the death penalty to consider establishing a moratorium on executions of death penalty as a first step towards abolition.

FIDH and EOHR oppose the death penalty in all circumstances , believing it to be a violation of the right to life and a cruel, inhuman and degrading punishment. The death penalty legitimizes an irreversible act of violence by the state. There is no clear evidence that the death penalty deters crime more effectively than other forms of punishment, it denies the possibility of reconciliation or rehabilitation and is often being inflicted on a discriminatory basis.

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