Human Rights Monitor submitted an urgent appeal to the Special Rapporteur on Summary Executions and the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention reporting the arrests of Abdul Rahim Mohamed Abdul Rahim and Mustafa Abdul Azim Fahmy Darwish who were arrested by national security forces on August 16, 2013 and sentenced to death on December 28, 2014 along with 2 others on February 28, describing the sentences as a blatant breach of human rights void of fair trials.
Security forces assisted by police in uniform and civil dress arrested Dr. Abdul Rahman 52, a cardiologist and 7 others from the home of a friend in Maadi, Cairo, without an arrest warrant or judicial permission being shown and without charges.
The forces then immediately took them to the Luman Tora Prison without investigation or being brought before any prosecution. The location of the 8 men remained unknown for 10 days and their families had no information regarding their disappearance. However lawyers were able to locate their whereabouts but they were denied visiting rights.
After 6 weeks of enforced disappearance they were brought before prosecution in Cairo and leveled with a host of fabricated charges including affiliation with an outlawed group, protest without permits, inciting violence in the Maqatam case, and possession of unlicensed weapons.
The defendants confessed to the crimes after being brutally tortured and despite evidence of torture and requests for investigation the prosecutor general disregarded the appeal and based his verdict on the confessions made. The confessions were made in complete violation of the international convention which stipulates that no confessions are to be made through torture or any act by which severe pain or suffering, whether physical or mental, is intentionally inflicted on a person for such purposes as obtaining from him or a third person information or a confession.
During the Maqatam events of March 2013, 20 parties called for protests and intense clashes took place on Friday between hundreds of Muslim Brotherhood supporters and opponents near the group's Cairo headquarters which was attacked by MB opposition. Similar attacks took place on June 30, 2013 and molotov bottles were thrown at the MB headquarters resulting in nine deaths and the injury of many others.
Despite evidence through forensic reports and videos to prove the innocence of the detainees who were victims to the beatings by thugs, Cairo's criminal court ignored the evidence and passed the verdict and passed sentence. On December 28, 2014 the court referred the papers of 4 defendants namely Mustafa Abdul Azim Fahmy Abdul Rahim, Mohamed Abdul Rahim (detained) and Atef Alsamry and Mohamed Abdul Azim Albeshlawy (absent) to the Mufti, and sentenced to life 15 leading MB figures.
It is worth noting that the death sentences may be appealedin court and the court is not obliged to follow the Mufti's recommendations which may ultimately result in executing the sentence. A request for a presidential pardon or a retrial is also permissible.
On the 1st of March during the last visit relatives of the defendants witnessed their loved ones who were moved to a cell painted in black and dressed in red preparing for their death sentence. The detainees were also denied food and drink by family. In fact Abdul Rahman met his father dressed in under garments so that his father would not know of the sentence and pass away as a result of shock since his mother had died earlier during his detention.
Human Rights Monitor calls on the Egyptian government not to follow through with the sentence which was delivered without a just trial and calls for charges leveled against defendants to be dropped. It also calls for a retrial in accordance to international law for fair trials.
Furthermore it reminds the authorities of the sanctity of human life and its responsibility to protect the lives and rights of its civilians as opposed to wasting it. It also stresses it is significant that lives be respected as ratified in international conventions.