528 men sentenced to death in Egypt

An Egyptian court has shocked the world by issuing a mass death sentence to 528 supporters of ousted President Mohamed Morsi for their alleged role in a riot last July that turned violent.

This is the largest number of death sentences handed down in one case Amnesty International has seen in recent years. This is not justice. It’s the ultimate cruel, inhuman and degrading punishment, and it could be an attempt to wipe out political opposition.

In a trial that “defied plausibility,” 528 men were convicted in just two sessions. More than 400 of those convicted were tried in absentia. No witnesses. No review of evidence. No time for the defense to read 3,000 pages of case documents. On the second day of trial, defense lawyers were blocked from the court!

Egypt’s authorities are quick to punish Morsi supporters, but have ignored gross human rights violations by the security forces. If this astounding sentence is carried out, there will be serious concerns about whether Egypt’s criminal justice system has anything to do with justice.

The cases have been referred to Egypt’s highest religious figure, the Grand Mufti, for his advisory opinion. The last resort for averting this human rights catastrophe is to take this to Egypt’s supreme court.

You can help stop this mass, grotesque violation of human rights: sign Amnesty’s petition calling on Egyptian authorities to overturn the 528 death sentences.

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