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Wednesday, 18 September 2019

Egypt: The odd case of the Minya verdict

The verdict of capital punishment levelled at hundreds in the Al-Minya case does not follow the Egyptian judiciary's established customs

Nader Bakkar , Monday 7 Apr 2014
Views: 1306
Views: 1306

No two sane people would disagree regarding the odiousness of the crime committed in Al-Minya Governorate, especially after it was photographed and seen by millions. But those same two may disagree about a verdict accusing hundreds of having committed this crime and sentencing them all to death, as ruled the court trying the culprits.

Astonishingly, the court verdict to transfer the papers of over 500 defendants to the Mufti pending their execution en masse is basically a contravention of the Egyptian judiciary customs -- established on the basis of a substantial jurisprudential opinion -- which have ruled in similar cases of a mob killing one person. So, why is an exception made of this verdict?

Not to mention that this shocking judgement was issued after only two sessions, the first of which was procedural. There was no time for the defence to display material evidence, or be granted full opportunity to present pleadings, as is any defendant's legitimate right.

Some quarters' justification of the ruling as "a threat" intended to compel the accused fugitives to hand themselves in is an illegal rationalisation which the court cannot mention in its verdict's whereases. As refraining from applying the principle of clemency in the case of a trial in absentia is the utmost the judges can resort to, the verdict was unprecedented in the history of the Egyptian judiciary.

We are not a primitive, savage society so that we may adopt the approach of making free with a whole faction of human beings, even if one of them has openly killed, incited the use of violence or frightened unsuspecting people. We are a society that observes Allah's saying: "If someone is killed unjustly, We have given his next of kin certain authority. But he should not be excessive in killing, for he will be supported". A society that knows injustice should not be met with injustice.

I know that after a respite, executing this verdict -- which will be easily revoked before higher litigation courts -- will prove legally impossible. However, the question remains: who benefits from news of such grave inconvenience to both those inside and outside Egypt? Who benefits from expanding the surface of hatred and menacing what's left of a fragile social peace? Who is interested in granting those traders in blood a chance to drive young boys and girls to the inferno of a battle where everyone loses and the country is burnt out?

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12-04-2014 03:46pm
Of course one can follow you in the Al-Minya case,
But in a general way I do believe that the actual (since months prevailing) security situation in the country, with 500 killed alone in Sinai, most of them police and troops is a so exceptional one that indeed exceptional measures are needed, too. In order for the perpetrator groups to get it that this kind of thing in no way is tolerable. And that nobody acting up in this kind should think this could not have serious consequences for himself, not only at the moment but also in the long run. Besides seriously disqualifying the group one belongs to. Fire cannot go on till all's ruined, it has to be quenched by water and its other adversaries. I'm sure Egypt'll take a very different stance once this sick "kill all you can"'s not in any more. Also if el-Sisi is president. Right now it seems wrong to ask for "business as usual".
Comment's Title
14-04-2014 06:32pm
Egyptian Were Wolf
You and the leaders of the interim regime are thirsty for blood of those who oppose you. Civilized societies don't use security situation as an excuse to kill opposition supporters who demonstrate against the government.

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