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EU slams Egypt for mass death sentence

03 February 2015, 15:01

Brussels - A court in Egypt violated the country's international human rights obligations by sentencing 183 men to death Monday for killing 13 policemen, the European Union said.

"Today's decision of a court in Egypt to sentence 183 defendants to death following a mass trial is in violation of Egypt's international human rights obligations," the EU's foreign service said in a statement.

The statement recalled that the EU categorically opposes capital punishment, which it says is cruel and inhuman and fails to act as a deterrent.

Monday's verdict, which can be appealed, came after the initial sentences were sent to the grand mufti, the Egyptian government's official interpreter of Islamic law, for ratification.

Condemned to death

The Egyptian court on Monday confirmed death sentences against 183 men convicted of killing 13 police in a town near Cairo in August 2013.

The accused, of whom 143 are behind bars, were found guilty of taking part in a 14 August  2013 attack on a police station in Kerdasa, a village on the outskirts of Cairo, in which the 13 policemen were killed.

The attack took place on the same day that security forces killed hundreds of demonstrators in clashes as they dismantled two massive protest camps in Cairo supporting ousted president Mohamed Morsi.

Since the army deposed Morsi on 3 July 2013, at least 1 400 people have been killed in a police crackdown on protests, mostly Islamists supporting the ousted leader.

Hundreds of his supporters have been sentenced to death in swift mass trials which the United Nations says were "unprecedented in recent history".



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