Egypt firmly rejects interference with its judiciary: FM statement

Ahram Online , Sunday 24 Feb 2019

On Monday, Egypt's Prisons Authority executed nine prisoners convicted of assassinating Egyptian Prosecutor-General Hisham Barakat in 2015

The Egyptian Foreign Ministry in Cairo (File photo: Reuters)

An Egyptian foreign ministry statement Sunday has affirmed Egypt's complete rejection of any sort of interference with the Egyptian judiciary.

"Commenting on the statement made by the spokesperson of the High Commissioner for Human Rights and a group of special rapporteurs of the Human Rights Council on the implementation of the death sentence endorsed by the Court of Cassation against nine of those charged with the assassination of former General Prosecutor Hisham Barakat, the Arab Republic of Egypt expresses complete rejection to any sort of tackling of the Egyptian judiciary," said the statement. 

"The verdicts came after lengthy trial sessions in which all defendants were granted fair trials," the statement added, stressing the independence of the Egyptian judiciary and its right to rule in accordance with Egyptian laws, which are based on respect for all relevant international standards.

"Egypt also strongly rejects any allegations of forcibly extracting confessions from the defendants and calls on all parties to carefully read the grounds on which the verdicts were based and the extent to which the Egyptian judiciary adhered to all national and international standards in this regard, instead of relying solely on allegations aimed at defaming or distortion," the statement added.

The statement stressed the need for international mechanisms working in the field of human rights to respect the cultural and legal characteristics and diversity of each country, whose respect is an integral part of human rights, and to abstain from imposing their unilateral visions, considering them superior to others.

On Monday, Egypt's Prisons Authority executed nine prisoners convicted of assassinating Egyptian Prosecutor-General Hisham Barakat in 2015.

Egypt's Court of Cassation upheld the death sentence for the prisoners in November 2018, rejecting an appeal against a lower criminal court sentence issued in July 2017.

However, the court did commute the sentence of six other prisoners from death to life in prison. It also sentenced 15 defendants to life in prison, eight defendants to 15 years, and 10 others to 10 years. 

The defendants in the case were charged with murder, conspiracy to commit murder, the possession of unlicensed firearms and ammunition, and the possession of explosive devices.

In June 2015, Barakat was killed in a Cairo bomb attack that struck his convoy in the upscale eastern Cairo district of Heliopolis.

A militant group calling itself the “Popular Resistance” claimed responsibility for the bombing. A court in February 2017 designated the group a terrorist organisation.

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