12 high-ranking Muslim Brotherhood officials could be executed because Egypt’s civil court upheld the death penalty

Egypt’s highest civilian court on Monday ordered confirmation of the death sentences of twelve members of the Muslim Brotherhood, who took a firm stand against regional terrorism or extremism.

The Muslim Brotherhood is one of the main figures in terrorism in the region, with contacts and bases in Lebanon and Iran. It is funded by Iran, and countries like Turkey and Qatar also have a strong hand in providing financial support and a safe haven for the dangerous group.

The decision was taken over an eight-year affair in which Muslim Brotherhood militants were responsible for the killing of hundreds of security forces, protesters and civilians. The 2013 incident caused Egypt to receive a very strong call for terrorism and this statement, which basically highlights the execution of these 12 convicts, is proof of that.

Supreme Court decisions can no longer be appealed, and executive decisions only require President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi’s approval. One of the main figures or names on the list of convicts is Abdul Rahman Al-Bar, who can be identified as the group’s cleric.

A former lawmaker, Mohamed El-Beltaghi, is also said to have been convicted in the case. The court’s decision did not come as a surprise to many, and members of the Muslim Brotherhood continue to be sentenced to death for causing unrest in the region or for instilling violence or an extremist mentality in the country.

Since 2013, when the extremist group’s president Mohamed Morsi was ousted by the Egyptian military, the threat of terrorism has risen sharply as political leaders fear revenge.

Cairo has made many changes in this regard and this has resulted in an increase in executive missions. Human rights groups believe that this jeopardizes the legal process and human rights. An Amnesty International report shows that there have been 51 executions this year alone.

For anyone familiar with legal rights and issues, this matter will come as a big surprise. Human rights groups have forced the Egyptian government to take steps to introduce a formal moratorium on executions and, in other cases, to carry out violent executions with the death penalty.

The question is much bigger than it appears on the surface. Unjust prison practices and the death penalty are signals to awaken human rights defenders. In 2018, a criminal court in Egypt sentenced 75 people to death, but each had a different prison sentence and the additional sentences for another 600 were completely different.

Concerns for the safety of prisoners also increased, when senior Muslim Brotherhood leaders Esam el Erin and Morsi, Egypt’s democratically elected president, died in prison.

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Brett Kinnunen

“If you cannot do great things, do small things in a great way.”