Egypt: 16 people, including at least three women, executed for ordinary crimes
5 March 2021
On Tuesday 2 March, 11 death row inmates were executed in Egypt by hanging at Borg el-Arab prison, north of Alexandria. Three days before, on Saturday 27 February, 5 other convicts, including three women, were executed in Ismailia (north-east), also for common crimes.
Last December, ECPM already warned about the alarming increase in executions in the country (they tripled in 2020 compared to previous years) and issued a press release calling for an immediate moratorium, while the Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sissi was on a state visit to France.
The human rights situation in Egypt is alarming. Egypt is one of the most executing states in the world: in two months at the end of 2020, 60 executions were recorded. In addition, most of those executed had claimed to have been tortured, kidnapped or held in secret for long periods. In addition, Egypt is increasing the number of arbitrary arrests of human rights defenders, lawyers and jurists working on the issue of the death penalty.
In Egypt, the most populous Arab country, Sharia (or Islamic) law, which is the main source of Egyptian law, allows the practice of the death penalty. Executions are carried out against ordinary prisoners, but also against political opponents accused of terrorist acts.
The Egyptian government has consistently rejected national and international calls for the abolition of the death penalty by many human rights defenders and international organisations.
However, according to the analysis of several international organisations, under the presidency of Abdel Fattah al-Sissi Egypt has become one of the ten most capital punishment countries. Egyptian courts have sentenced more than 3,000 people to death since 2014, when Sissi took power (according to the Arab Network for Human Rights Information).
See our interactive map to learn more about the death penalty in Egypt