Mubarak free while hundreds face death penalty – Reprieve comment

March 24, 2017

Commenting on reports that former Egyptian President, Hosni Mubarak, has been freed, Harriet McCulloch, a deputy director at human rights organisation Reprieve, said:

“As Hosni Mubarak goes free in Egypt, thousands of prisoners still languish in horrific prison conditions. Many face the death penalty on charges relating to protests, in mass trials that make a mockery of due process. Some were arrested as children – people like Irish citizen Ibrahim Halawa, who has suffered terrible abuses in jail. The Sisi Government must now show that Egypt’s justice system is worthy of the name and release Ibrahim, and the hundreds like him.”

ENDS

Notes to editors

1. Reprieve is an international human rights organization. Reprieve’s London office can be contacted on: communications [at] reprieve.org.uk / +44 (0) 207 553 8140. Reprieve US, based in New York City, can be contacted on Katherine [dot] oshea [at] reprieve.org / +1 917 855 8064.

2. Several prisoners in Egypt are awaiting the death penalty despite having been children when they were arrested. They include Irish citizen Ibrahim Halawa, who faces a death sentence in a trial alongside 493 other people, and Hatem Zaghloul, who was sentenced to death as a juvenile.

3. According to figures collated by Reprieve, nearly 2,000 people have received death sentences in mass trials, while nearly 900 people continue to face the death penalty. The figures are available on request.

4. Reprieve has discovered that the European Union is funding a 10m project that has seen a UK state-owned company provide Egypt’s justice ministry with support. The project has seen the UK company, NI-CO, provide plans and equipment for the building of courthouses – including a juvenile court in Cairo.

5. The UK Foreign Office’s 2016 ‘Human Rights Priority Country’ update on Egypt said: “Egyptian courts continued to use the death penalty,” and highlighted “the mass trial of 494 individuals on charges related to a protest that took place in August 2013, which includes Irish national Ibrahim Halawa.”