Federal Foreign Office criticises death sentences handed down in Egypt

03.12.2014 - Press release

On 3 December, a Federal Foreign Office spokesperson issued the following statement in Berlin on the death sentence handed down to 188 defendants by an Egyptian court:

The Federal Government is deeply concerned about an Egyptian court deciding once again to sentence up to 188 people to death. We clearly expect this sentence not to be executed in this form and the defendants to be given a fair trial in accordance with internationally recognised standards. Mass sentences of this kind do nothing to further stability in Egypt.

Germany is opposed to the death penalty as an inhumane form of punishment.

Background information:

In the wake of the violent clearing of opposition protest camps on 14 August 2013, a group of armed people stormed a police station in Kerdasa, leaving 11 policemen and two civilians dead. According to media reports, some of the policemen showed signs of having been tortured.

On 2 December, a court in Giza sentenced to death up to 188 people accused of terrorism, murder and possession of arms were to be sentenced to death, among them two already deceased persons and one minor. At least 43 were tried in absentia.

Formally, the sentence is not yet a judgement. The next step is for the Mufti to give an opinion which, however, will not be binding.

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