Press Conference: Executing Freedoms in Egypt

Press Statement

Democracy on Death Row in Egypt

“Freedom means the supremacy of human rights everywhere”
Franklin D. Roosevelt

Press Conference at the National Press Club in Washington DC
June 5th, 2015 at 10.30 AM
 

The Egyptian Americans for Human Rights (EAHR) invites you to a press conference on June 5th, 2015 at 10.30 AM (doors open at 10.00 AM) at the National Press Club in Washington DC. We will address the latest mass death sentences that the Egyptian courts have issued recently.  EAHR is a group of Egyptian Americans who share the vision of promoting Human Rights and freedom in Egypt.

In the most recent case, 121 political leaders, university professors, public figures, among others, received the death sentence, including former president Mohamed Morsi.  A number of renowned academics and activists who are defendants in this trial will attend the conference and share thoughts about this injustice trial.

Panel Speaking:

  • Prof. Emad Shahin: Visiting professor of political science at Georgetown University, Sentenced to death in absentia by the Egyptian government.
  • Ramsey Clark: former US Attorney General, Founder of International Action Center
  • Joe Stork: Deputy Director of Human Rights Watch’s Middle East and North Africa
  • Curtis Doebbler: An international human rights lawyer
  • Iman Bakry Haroun: Sister of one of the six individuals who were executed on May 17, 2015

Over the past two years, Egyptian courts have allowed themselves to act as a tool to the military authorities to silence voices of dissent and settle political accounts.  Over and over again, death sentences and life imprisonment sentences have been handed down to Egyptian citizens as retaliation to their opposition to the current military ruling.  In the span of the last two weeks alone, two high profile cases demonstrate the degradation of the Egyptian justice system.  First, a military court oversaw the execution of six young Egyptians in the case known to the media as “Arab Sharkas”.  This was followed by mass death sentence to Mohamed Morsi, the formal elected president before the military coup and members of his government, and Parliament members.  The combination of unconstitutional military trials of civilians and politically manipulated court system send questionable message to the Egyptian people that human rights and protection under the law have no place in their society.  French jurist Charles de Montesquieu is quoted to have said

“There is no crueler tyranny than that which is perpetuated under the shield of law and in the name of justice.”

It is time for the international community to step up to its legal and human obligations in holding the Egyptian government accountable for all actions against its own citizens.  It is no longer sufficient to express deep concern over the repeated violations of the international laws on human rights and the injustice committed under the banner of the law. The international community should press Sisi’s government to release all political prisoners, stop all executions and mass death sentences, end its draconian measures against NGOs, and allow peaceful protests.

“Justice will not be served until those who are unaffected are as outraged as those who are”
Benjamin Franklin

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CONTACT: Osamah Saleh, 703-401-3030, osamahslh@gmail.com