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CFJ condemns the death sentences issued in the Minya Cell case, calls for a retrial

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News briefing


Geneva: 7 June 2023


The First Circuit of the Terrorism Court, presided over by Counselor Muhammad Al-Saeed Al-Sherbiny, alongside Counselors Essam Abu Al-Ela and Mahmoud Zaidan, and with the secretariat of Mamdouh Abdel-Rashid, has delivered its verdict in Case No. 115749 of 2022, commonly known in the media as the Minya Terrorist Cell case. The case involves 10 defendants, including 6 women.

In this ruling, the court has sentenced four defendants to death, while five other defendants have been sentenced to rigorous imprisonment for 15 years, and one accused individual has received a three-year prison term. Additionally, all defendants have been included in the lists of terrorists.

Regarding the specific charges, according to the indictment, the first defendant, Izzat Muhammad, allegedly “assumed the leadership of a terrorist group with the aim of subverting the provisions of the constitution and the law, obstructing the functioning of state institutions and public authorities, infringing upon the personal freedom of citizens, undermining national unity and social harmony, and committing the offense of financing terrorism and terrorists.” This was accomplished by “providing the group with funds, weapons, ammunition, and assignments intended for the commission of terrorist acts.”

As for the defendants from the second to the last, they have been charged with joining the aforementioned terrorist group, having knowledge of its objectives.

The Committee for Justice (CFJ) condemns the death sentences handed down in this case. These sentences were issued by an irregular judge within an exceptional court lacking internationally recognized standards for fair trials. Consequently, CFJ calls for the retrial of the defendants before a regular judge in a fair trial that adheres to recognized standards, as well as for the release of the defendants.

Furthermore, CFJ urges the Egyptian authorities to cease the issuance of mass death sentences and consider putting an end to the use of capital punishment in accordance with international and UN treaties, to which Egypt is a signatory.

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