Six more people executed in Egypt, bringing total number to 22 in last 10 days

Egyptian prison authorities have executed another six people in Alexandria, bringing the total number over the past 10 days to 22 people

On June 30, prison authorities executed another six people at Borg el-Arab Prison in Alexandria, bringing the total number of executions over the past 10 days to 22.  

Three days before, on June 27, nine people were executed at Cairo Appeals Prison, one week after seven prisoners were executed at Borg el-Arab. In all three instances, state media reported that prisoners had been involved in “murder and theft.” However, the identities of the deceased were not disclosed.

The drastic increase of executions in such a short time span is reminiscent of the 49 executions authorities carried out in a 10-day span in October 2020, which contributed to Egypt recording the world’s third-highest number of executions last year.

Egypt’s total number of executions for the first half of 2021 now stands at more than 70, raising concerns that it is on its way to surpassing last year’s horrifyingly high number of 107, especially in light of an appeals court upholding the death penalty for 12 Muslim Brotherhood leaders to death last month. Even before the latest wave of executions, the Campaign to Stop the Death Penalty and six other rights organizations warned that Egypt “is set to be a strong competitor for the first rank globally in applying the death penalty in 2021.”

On July 1, the World Movement for Democracy honored detained journalist Esraa Abdel Fattah and other independent journalists with its Democracy Courage Tribute for “defending press freedom despite risks to their lives and freedom.”

– Abdel Fattah is the founder of the Free Egyptian Women Group and a co-founder of the April 6 Youth Movement. At the time of her arrest, she was working as a reporter for Tahrir News.

– Abdel Fattah was abducted by plainclothes officers in October 2019 and charged with allegedly joining a terrorist organization and spreading false information. In May, her lawyer submitted a request for her release, arguing that her pretrial detention exceeded the 18-month limit for the crimes she was charged with. The UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention concluded the following month that the arrests of Abdel Fattah and nine other journalists were arbitrary and violated international law, while documenting Abdel Fattah’s torture and mistreatment at the hand of security forces.  

– Reporters Without Borders ranked Egypt 166th out of 180 countries in its 2021 World Freedom Index for systematically arresting journalists, blocking more than 500 websites, and prohibiting reporters from entering the Sinai region.

Following are important dates in this regard:

  • On 30 June 2021, the Third Circuit on Terrorism renewed Ola al-Qaradawi’s pretrial detention, where she and her husband Hosam Khalaf have been held for four years, far beyond Egypt’s legal maximum, according to the Middle East Eye.
  • Also, on 30 June 2021, – The Arabic Network for Human Rights Information documented eight protests, strikes, and public gatherings for the month of June, according to ANHRI.
  • On 1 July 2021, Permanent Ambassador of France to the UN Nicolas de Rivière said that the UN Security Council is likely to take up the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam dispute next week, according to Reuters.
  • On 2 July 2021, another railway accident, this time in Qena, led to one death. according to Darb.