On February 20, 2019, the Egyptian authorities executed nine youngsters on charges of murder of former Attorney-General Hisham Barakat, who was killed on June 29, 2015. This is the second time collective executions are carried out on this case alone. Other 15 young people were executed on December 6, 2018.
By Victorios Bayan Shams
February 21, 2019
According to one of the defendants, intelligence officers who supervised their torture sessions told him: “You have to admit what we want, because someone has to take responsibility for this crime.” . “That torture would force anyone here in court to confess even the assassination of former president Anwar Sadat” the young man said, referring to the brutality of the torture they were subjected to in order to force them to recognize everything torturers linked to intelligence services want (most of the defendants were born after Sadat was killed).
However, the judge pronounced the verdict based on confessions extracted under torture, without paying attention to what the accused young man said what raises many questions about the impartiality and independence of the Egyptian judiciary.
These trials have become one of the methods used by the Egyptian regime’s leader General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi to liquidate his political rivals disregarding the appeals of Arab and international human rights organizations, and under suspicious Western silence.
According to “Amnesty International” 1,964 death sentences were issue under al-Sisi rule until 2017 on 58 political trials.
Furthermore Egyptian authorities assassinated Italian researcher Giulio Regeni in Cairo early 2016 jeopardizing relations between the two countries. Egyptian intelligence later arrested and assassinated several young Egyptians under the pretext that they were accused of killing Giulio Regeni in an attempt to convince the Italian authorities that the Egyptian intelligence had nothing to do with the crime.
The day after the death sentence (February 21, 2019), Egyptian authorities returned the bodies of the young men to their families after forcing them to commit themselves to bury them silently.
Abdel Fattah al-Sisi came to power after deposing President Mohamed Morsi. On top of physically eliminating all dissent, his son, officer Mahmoud al-Sisi is supervising constitutional changes to allow him to stay in power until 2034.