News You Really Need To See: “Egypt Executes Six Men Convicted of Killing Soldiers Despite ‘Grossly Unfair’ Trial”

“Egypt Executes Six Men Convicted of Killing Soldiers Despite ‘Grossly Unfair’ Trial”

The Sydney Morning Herald, May 18, 2015

“Egypt has executed six men convicted of carrying out an attack on a checkpoint in the Sinai that killed several soldiers, despite evidence at least three of the accused were already in detention at the time of the assault.  Human rights groups … say the death penalty is now the Egyptian authorities’ ‘favourite tool’ for purging political opposition in a country that remains deeply divided since the overthrow of former dictator Hosni Mubarak in February 2011.  The six men who were executed – state media reported they were hanged – were part of a group of nine convicted of participating in attacks on security forces and killing two officers in 2014, Human Rights Watch said. … The men alleged they had been tortured into confessing to being members of the terrorist organisation Ansar Beit al-Maqdis.  … Three of the men, Mohamed Bakry, Hani Amer and Mohamed Afifi, could not have participated in the attacks because they had been arrested in late 2013 and were in detention at the time, their lawyer, Ahmed Helmy, said. … Their executions came a day after an Egyptian court sentenced the country’s first democratically elected president, Mohamed Morsi, to death for his role in a prison escape in 2011.  At least 105 other defendants were also sentenced to death in the mass trial of political prisoners – a spectacle that has become commonplace in Egypt under the leadership of President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi.  More than 1200 people have received the death penalty in two mass trials alone.”

Quickie analysis:  Explain to me why the US continues to say nothing, at least in public, about Mr. Sisi’s approach to “justice.” 

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