Aswat Masriya (Cairo)

26 August 2014

Egypt: Military Tribunal Preliminarily Sentences Seven to Death

Cairo — A military tribunal referred on Tuesday seven people to the Grand Mufti to consider sentencing them to death on charges relating to terrorism.

The military tribunal postponed its sentence regarding two more defendants in the same case.

The Mufti is Egypt's top religious authority; his decisions are not legally binding, although it is customary for the court to adopt them.

The defendants were arrested after a weapons' warehouse was attacked in Qaliubia, in an incident which left two military officers killed, reported state-run al-Ahram.

No Military Trials for Civilians, a group campaigning against referring civilians to military tribunals, strongly condemned Tuesday's sentencing.

Sara al-Sherif, No Military Trials member, said that the group's concerns regarding the military trials of civilians increase when death sentences are involved.

"We call for the defendants' retrial in a civilian court," Sherif said.

The new constitution allows referring civilians to military trials "in cases which represent a direct assault on armed forces institutions, their camps or anything that falls under their authority, alongside assaults on military or border zones, and military institutions, vehicles, weapons, ammunition, documents, secrets, public funds, or factories."

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