Shocking Rule: Minya Criminal Court referring the files of 683 defendants to the Mufti of the Republic

April 28th, 2014 by Editor

Minya Criminal Court issued its decision of referring the files of 683 defendants, including leader of the Muslim Brotherhood, Mohammed Badie to the Mufti of the Republic, To take his opinion about the court’s decision to execute those who accused of killing and attempted murder of police officers, in violent incidents occurred in Minya in August 2013. The court (held on Monday 28 April 2014) included provisions in absentia, and set the next session June 21 for the Verdict[1].

EOHR is concerned regarding the decision of Minya Criminal Court because lake of standards of fair trial and didn’t allow the 683 defendants to rightfully defend themselves directly (right to defense), or by proxy, particularly in where the penalties are up to the death sentence. Since the Court booked this case for judgment to Monday’s session without enabling any of the defendants to rightfully defend themselves, it has violated the Article 96 of the Egyptian Constitution, which states that “the defendant is innocent until proven guilty in a legal and fair trial that guarantees the right to defend himself.”

This provision contains two legal centers for the accused, namely:

First center: The sentence passed in the presence of the defendants: Another degree of litigation which is cassation appeal in accordance with Article 30 of Law No. 57 of 1959 as amended by Law No. 106 of 1962, on cases and appeal procedures before the Court of Cassation was keep in front of them.

Second center: The sentence passed in the absence of the defendants: Were unable to provide their defense, and that is considered investigative action, and keeps for the defendant all levels of litigation in front of the Criminal Court In accordance with Article 384 of the Criminal Procedure Law.

EOHR believes that the order which was passed in the absence of the defendants is violative of their rights. EOHR thinks that the procedures should be redone in presence of the defendants and in accordance to the existing Egyptian law. Also it is a matter of great concern how the Egyptian judiciary passed the death sentences of 683 defendants to be executed simultaneously.

Adding to the concern of EOHR is that the global trend tends to abolish the death penalty and replace it with penalties of imprisonment for long durations; therefore many countries signed the second optional protocol of the “International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights”, which aims at the abolition of the death penalty. In one of the lines of its preamble it is stated, “All measures aimed at abolishing the death penalty are considered as a progress in the enjoyment of the right to life”.

The main points which are intended to convey in this article are as follows:

1) No one who is subjected to the jurisdiction of a State who is a party to this protocol is executed.

2) Each State party shall take all necessary measures to abolish the death penalty within its jurisdiction.



[1] According to Article 381 of the Criminal Procedure Law, the criminal court before a death verdict must refer the files of the defendants to the Mufti in which his opinion is considered a non-binding advisory opinion to the Court.

This entry was posted on Monday, April 28th, 2014 at 4:44 pm and is filed under Statements. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

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