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Egypt must end death penalty: EU politicians

European Parliament condemns Egypt's use of execution and calls for a review of all death penalty sentences.

Abdel Fattah el-Sisi

The European Parliament has condemned Egypt for its use of the death penalty and called for all planned executions to be halted pending a review of the cases.

Egypt is restricting "fundamental democratic rights", members of the European Parliament (MEPs) said in a statement on Wednesday, adding Cairo should abolish capital punishment.

"The European Parliament … calls for the end to all acts of violence, incitement and hate speech, reminding the Egyptian government that the universal protection of human rights and long-term prosperity go hand in hand," it said.

A sharp rise in executions has taken place in Egypt since President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi came to power in a 2013 coup, according to figures from Cornell University's Center on the Death Penalty Worldwide.

At least 97 people have been executed in Egypt since 2014, compared with five executions between 2010-2014, it said.

UN human rights experts have expressed concern that Egyptian officials are using evidence obtained through torture or ill treatment, often during periods of enforced disappearance, to sentence prisoners to death in military courts.

On January 2, five men were hanged in Alexandria after being sentenced to death by an Egyptian military court, according to the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, four of whom were convicted for an explosion in April 2015 that killed three military personnel and wounded two others.

Fifteen men convicted on "terrorism" charges over the 2013 deaths of soldiers in the Sinai Peninsula were executed on December 26 last year.

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