What you need to know about Political prisoners that Sisi sentenced to death

Monday June 14, 2021, Egypt’s Court of Cassation upheld death sentences for 12 protestors, including prominent Muslim Brotherhood leaders, concluding a trial linked to a 2013 mass killing by security forces of President Morsi supporters at Raba’a sit-in, while culprits of the Raba’a massacre are still free.

Egypt’s Criminal Procedure Code gives the president 14 days following the court ruling to pardon the defendants or commute the death sentences.

Profiles: Recent Death Sentences and Facts about the legal violations of some detainee

Dr. Mohamed El-Beltagy:

Dr. Mohamed El-Beltagy is a university professor specializing in Ear, Nose and Throat at the Faculty of Medicine, Al-Azhar University.  When he was a student, he was President of the Student Union of Al-Azhar University. He was a Member of Egypt’s Parliament from 2005 to 2010. He is a well-known human rights activist and politician, a field leader during the Egyptian people’s revolution on January 25, 2011, a member of the Egypt’s Constituent assembly for drafting the Constitution. Dr. Mohamed El-Beltagy’s colleagues used to describe him as “the revolutionary lion”, as he remained a lover of his country, defending the rights of Egyptians, whether when he was a student, a doctor, an MP, or a revolutionary in the Tahrir Square.

During the January revolution, Dr. Mohamed El-Beltagy accused General Abdel Fattah El-Sisi of being one of the enemies of the revolution and held him responsible for the killing of the young revolutionaries in and around the Tahrir Square. Sisi did not forget El-Beltagy’s testimony against him, and he also never forgot that El-Beltagy was one of the leaders of Tahrir Square during the revolution. Al-Beltagy was tried in several trumped-up cases, including the dispersal of Rabaa sit-in case, where his own daughter ‘Asmaa’ was killed. Dr. El-Beltagy once stood before the judge to ask him: Who killed my daughter Asmaa?? Was it me who killed her?!

He was kept in prison, denied family visits and the right to see his lawyer, where he did not know the type of charges against him in some cases. He was sentenced to death in the dispersal of Rabaa sit-in case, where his daughter was shot by the army and security forces. Recently, the Court of Cassation upheld the death sentence in this politicized trial.

Dr. Mohamed Zanati:

Dr. Mohamed Zanati, 58, a consultant in General Surgery, director of Town Gas’ medical affairs department, and coordinator of the Rabaa sit-in field hospital.

Dr. Zenati was arrested from his workplace on 25 June 2013, and his son Ahmed Zenati was killed by the army and security forces during the dispersal of the Rabaa sit-in on 14 August 2013. Immediately after his arrest, he was forcibly disappeared for two weeks, during which he was subjected to various forms of torture.

He was sentenced to fifteen years in prison, then the Court of Cassation reduced it to ten years. While he was in prison to serve his sentence, the security services opened a case known as the ‘dispersal of the Rabaa sit-in’ and issued an indictment list. Surprisingly, six names were added to the list, all of whom were in prison more than 3 weeks before the Rabaa sit-in dispersal, as Dr. Mohamed Zenati was one of those six. He was sentenced to death in the Rabaa dispersal case – that took place three weeks after his arrest – where his son was killed by the army and security forces.

Dr. Osama Yassin,

Born in Cairo, 1964. A consultant pediatrician. A parliamentarian and the former Minister of Youth and Sports in Dr. Morsi’s. Graduated from the Faculty of Medicine, Ain Shams University in 1989, majoring in surgery.

He received his master’s degree in pediatrics in 1994. He was one of the leaders of January 25 Revolution in Tahrir Square.

Member of the Supreme Committee as Assistant Secretary-General of the Freedom and Justice Party.  He was head of the Youth Committee of the dissolved People’s Assembly for the year 2012.

Despite its short duration, he was one of the most successful ministers during Morsi’s incomplete presidential term.

He was arrested after the military coup on August 28, 2013.

Egypt: Commute Death Sentences for Rab’a Protestors, HRW

Human Rights Watch;

Egypt’s al-Sisi should immediately commute the death sentences for 12 protestors, including prominent Muslim Brotherhood leaders who had been convicted in a grossly unfair mass trial for participation in the 2013 Rab’a sit-in that ended with security forces killing at least 817 protestors, Human Rights Watch said 

“The Rab’a trial was a mockery of justice, so it is outrageous that the highest court has upheld these 12 death sentences,” said Joe Stork, deputy Middle East and North Africa director at Human Rights Watch. “President Sisi should seize this moment to void their execution and put an end to Egypt’s profligate use of the death penalty.”