The Committee on Political Affairs and Democracy and the Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), meeting this week in Strasbourg, have expressed their deep concern over the death sentences that were handed down in Egypt against more than five hundred supporters of deposed president Mohamed Morsi on charges related to the events in July and August 2013, including the killing of a policeman.
The two PACE committees underline that the death penalty as a form of punishment is an unacceptable violation of human rights, irrespective of the crime committed.
Concerned about alleged procedural violations, the PACE committees urge Egypt to ensure the defendants the guarantee of a fair trial, a pre-condition for its smooth democratic transition, in particular on the eve of presidential elections. They also call on Egypt to implement an immediate moratorium on executions as a step towards the abolition of capital punishment.
PACE follows the democratic transition in Egypt through its Committee on Political Affairs and Democracy – Rapporteur: José María Beneyto (Spain, EPP/CD) – and supports universal abolition of the death penalty through its Committee on Legal Affairs and Human rights – General Rapporteur: Marietta Karamanli (France, SOC).