Author(s): Maged Mandour
Original Link: https://carnegieendowment.org/sada/78998
On the February 20, Egyptian authorities carried out the executions of nine defendants accused of assassinating Egyptian General Prosecutor Hisham Barakat, prompting international accusations that their trials were unfair and that torture was used to extract confessions. The Egyptian government, aware of the possible international backlash stemming from the use of execution as a primary tool for repression, has instead increasingly relied on systematic extrajudicial killings and medical negligence in detention facilities during lengthy detention periods without trials in lieu of official executions. The regime is also combining this with a policy of forced disappearances, with hundreds abducted every year and only some people re-appearing. In 2015, according to the Nadeem Center for Rehabilitation of Victims of Violence and Torture, there were 464 cases of enforced disappearances, skyrocketing to 980 cases in 2016. Enforced disappearances are particularly used against political activists, as noted by the United Nations Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances (WGEID). While these policies date back to 2013, they are gaining momentum as the power of the security establishment grows—cumulating in the constitutional referendumon April 20–22 that saw President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi extend his grip on power.
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