Egypt: Execution of four men sentenced to death in the Kafr El Sheikh Stadium bombing case
In the morning of January 2, 2018, four men sentenced to death in the Kafr El Sheikh Stadium bombing case following a grossly unfair trial were executed at the Burj Al Arab Prison of Alexandria. The families of Lotfy Ibrahim Ismail Khalil, Ahmed Abdul Hadi Al Seheemy, Sameh Abdullah Mohamed Youssef and Ahmed Abd Al Moenem Salama Ahmed Salama were not officially informed of the date of executions, in violation of Egyptian Criminal Law.
On April 15, 2015, a bomb exploded in a room adjacent to Kafr Al Sheikh Sports Stadium, killing three military college students and injuring two others. Immediately following this attack, nine individuals were violently abducted by the State Security Police and held in secret for long periods of time ranging from 70 to 90 days in different places of detention, including the Kafr Al Sheikh Police Station 1, the Lazoughly Headquarters of the State Security Police in Cairo and other places they were unable to identify. They were brutally interrogated without any legal representation, and subjected to lengthy sessions of torture to confess to the bombing. One of the youngest victims reported having been told that if he refused to incriminate himself, he would be executed.
The men were then charged with “organising and carrying the explosion”, “murder” and “belonging to a banned group”. On February 1, 2017, following a heavily flawed trial, the Alexandria Military Court sentenced them collectively to death on the sole basis on these forced confessions and statements of State Security officers which defence lawyers were not allowed to challenge.
On June 19, 2017, the High Military Court upheld their sentences on appeal. Following this decision, Alkarama submitted an urgent appeal to the United Nations' Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions (SRSUMX) requesting the independent UN expert to urge the Egyptian authorities to revoke these death sentences and to investigate the victims’ allegations of torture.
Arbitrary and secret execution of the four men
On January 1, 2018, the victims’ families were informally told that an order of execution was handed to the Burj Al Arab Prison authorities to carry out the death sentences the next day. In the morning of January 2, 2018, the four men were executed at the Burj Al Arab Prison in Alexandria.
The men’s relatives, who were not officially informed of the execution order, discovered in the press that the executions were carried out. The article stated that the Prison Administration of Burj Al Arab carried out the death sentences against four of those involved in the Kafr Al Sheikh Stadium bombing case on January 2, 2018, and that the bodies were to be transferred to the “Kom Dokka” morgue before being handed over to their families.
“These executions are not only arbitrary and in violation of the right to life of the victims, but the way they were carried out is particularly cruel towards the victims and their families,” said Radidja Nemar, Legal Officer at Alkarama. “Numerous other individuals have been sentenced to death following unfair trials, and these individuals need even more attention and pressure from international and regional human rights bodies,” she added.
On January 2, 2018, the case of Lotfy Ibrahim Ismail Khalil, Ahmed Abdul Hadi Al Seheemy, Sameh Abdullah Mohamed Youssef and Ahmed Abd Al Moenem Salama Ahmed Salama were brought to the urgent attention of the SRSUMX. Other cases of death sentences following unfair trials before civilian and military courts have been brought to the attention of the United Nations, highlighting the alarming pattern of violations carried out by the Egyptian authorities, particularly in counter-terrorism cases.
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