Letter to Egyptian Ambassador in Ireland
The letter below was sent to the Egyptian Ambassador to Ireland, H.E. Soha Gendi, after a phone call to the embassy. The ambassador was not available to answer but her consul, Mr. Mostafa Mohamed Youssef, debated the issues raised and requested a written complaint. No reply has been received so far
I wish to protest in the strongest possible manner at the hangings carried out in Egypt this year.
In 2020 alone, according to Reprieve, 103 people have been "executed", most of them by the inhuman, disgusting and revolting use of hanging. All human life is sacred and no-one has a right to decide that another's life should end at their say so. To sentence people to death is wrong, to carry out the sentence is wrong. To use the barbaric method of hanging increases the wrong and in my opinion it is wilful murder.
Especially as torture has been used* to obtain false confessions from those who have been killed.
Your President, Mr Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi, who helped engineer a coup, was himself responsible for the August 2013 Rabaa massacre - described by Human Rights watch as a crime against humanity in which 903 civilian protestors were murdered. Why should Mr Al-Sisi have any right to sit in judgement over other human beings?
In our conversation, your Consul made a remark that I feel it necessary to rebut. He said "So your human rights supports terrorists and murderers" [The quote is from memory].
Let me make it absolutely clear to him, to you and to your President that I do not support murder, violence or terrorism whether these evils appear within the governed population or among those who govern. I have protested against them irrespective of wherever they emanate from.
While that is true, I hold all people to be equal with regard to their human rights. Human beings everywhere are my sisters and brothers. When they are wronged I am wronged. When they are tortured to obtain false confessions I will speak out on their behalf. And yes, even if they are guilty, I will still have compassion for them especially when they believe that what they are doing is right.
I call on your President to put an end to this murder spree in Egypt. End capital punishment, reprieve the condemned, end torture, release political prisoners.
With best personal wishes
Human Rights activist and pacifist
* One excerpt from this source:
"16. 80 criminal statutes carry the death penalty in Egypt, some allowing for mass death sentences, of the type handed down to 184 people for the murder of one police officer. In addition to the vague, overly broad definition of terrorism in these laws, the legislation allows a person who belongs to an “unlawful" group but does not commit murder or engage in violence to be sentenced to death.
17. Trial procedure monitoring in 28 cases found that 138 defendants were forcibly disappeared, for up to 219 days, and then tortured in order to coerce their confessions. Documented torture methods include rape or sexual assault using batons or sharp objects; electroshocks on the body, especially the genitals; waterboarding and hanging by hands or feet. In the 28 cases reviewed, the prosecution began interrogating the 356 defendants in the absence of their attorneys.
18. Court verdicts rely on torture – coerced confessions while disregarding defendants’ statements and medical reports about torture. In the 28 reviewed cases, the prosecution often ignored torture allegations from 116 defendants and dismissed their requests to see a forensic pathologist"..