Egyptian authorities have executed 16 people convicted and sentenced to death in criminal cases this week, a significant hike in the number of executions in the country.
Yesterday alone (Tuesday), authorities executed 11 people in the Borg Al-Arab prison in the coastal city of Alexandria, in the country’s north.
On Saturday they executed five persons, including three women.
Normally the Ministry of Interior does not announce beforehand that it is carrying out executions and it notifies the families of executed inmates only after their deaths so they can receive the bodies for burial.
Authorities have not identified the 16 persons who have been executed or the nature of the criminal cases in which they were sentenced.
Last December, the international human rights watchdog Amnesty International criticised what it described as a “horrifying execution spree” in Egypt.
The human rights organization Community for Justice documented 87 executions carried out by Egyptian authorities in the two months of October and December 2020, which it describes as a record number.
Some 41 Egyptian opposition figures last Monday called on the Biden administration to take action against the Egyptian regime, saying it had committed “crimes that are worse than the [Jamal] Khashoggi murder.”
Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, 59, was killed inside his country’s consulate in Istanbul, Turkey, on 2 October 2018. In a report released on Friday, US security agencies said the Crown Prince of Saudi, and the kingdom’s de facto ruler, Mohammed Bin Salman, “approved” and almost certainly ordered the murder. The US went on to impose sanctions on those it said were behind the murder, but fell short of reprimanding the crown prince.
The signatories of the statement stated that “the dictatorial regime ruling Egypt has committed many crimes that are uglier and much more terrifying than Khashoggi’s murder.”
The oppositionists cited some of what they described as “the crimes of the Egyptian regime”, alleging that “among these crimes were the military coup against the elected president in 2013, committing genocide against thousands of Egyptians which have been documented by international human rights organizations.”
Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi took office in 2014, following his victory in the first presidential elections after the overthrow of late President Mohamed Morsi in the summer of 2013 when the former was minister of defence.
The statement said: “This comes on top of tens of thousands of murders, torture, enforced disappearances, and executing death sentences issued in trials that did not meet the conditions for a fair trial.”
The Egyptian opposition asked: “Does the US Democratic administration led by Joe Biden have the power to set the record straight and respect principles of justice and American values?”