A Federal Foreign Office spokesperson issued the following statement in Berlin today (3 February) on the confirmation of the death sentences against 183 defendants in Egypt:
The German Government is deeply concerned about the verdict by an Egyptian court of first instance that sentenced 183 people to death following a mass trial. It is our clear expectation that the sentences will not be carried out. Each and every defendant must be given a fair trial in accordance with internationally recognised standards.
Germany is opposed to the death penalty as an inhumane form of punishment.
On 2 December 2014, the court in Giza issued a preliminary verdict, sentencing 188 people accused of terrorism, murder and possession of arms to death. They are accused of involvement in an attack on a police station in August 2013 that killed eleven police officers and two civilians.
In cases of death sentences, a recommendation by the Grand Mufti is required before the court’s verdict becomes legally binding. The court has now confirmed 183 of the original 188 death sentences. The verdict can be appealed.
The defendants originally included two deceased persons and one minor. At least 43 of the defendants were tried in absentia. The minor defendant was sentenced to ten years in prison.