Egypt censures new UN Human Rights chief over "unfair trial"
CAIRO – 12 September 2018: Egypt voiced indignation on Tuesday at recent UN Human Rights Chief’s assertions, which claimed that 75 death sentences confirmed by an Egyptian court at the weekend were based on an "unfair trial" and should be reversed.
Human Rights Chief Michelle Bachelet, who took office last week, called on Egypt’s appeals court on Sunday to overturn the death sentences given out to the 75 people over the 2013 sit-in.
Bachelet’s words, which came without any questions, notifications or enquires being sent to the Egyptian government and without prior notice to the government, spoke of an “unfair trial,” elaborating that if the sentences were to be carried out, they “would represent a gross and irreversible miscarriage of justice.”
Speaking before the UN Human Rights Council, Egypt's ambassador to the UN Alaa Youseef addressed Bachelet's claims and comments.
The following is the full statement as obtained by Egypt Today;
In his statement, Youssef objected Bachelet’s unfair and harsh criticism of Egypt’s judiciary – without any solid proof – and her concern over the numerous mass trials that have been executed in Egypt since the toppling of former president Mohamed Morsi in July 2013.
In the latest case, 739 defendants were tried together, most of them charged with killing police and vandalising property. Nearly 350 were given 15-year sentences and another 47 jailed for life.
Bachelet explained that “the prosecution did not provide sufficient evidence to prove individual guilt,” continuing, “I hope that the Egyptian Court of Appeal will review this verdict and ensure that international standards of justice are respected by setting it aside.”
Without any studying of the cases or an investigation into the death sentences, Bachelet’s statements appear to lack grounds or evidence.
“Bachelet decried the “lethal military crackdown” saying it had led to the killing of “up to 900 mostly unarmed protesters by members of the Egyptian security forces”,” writes Reuters.
Although Bachelet admits that the Government stated that the crackdown came as a result of protestors being armed and that a number of police personnel lost their lives in the crackdown, she explains that someone should be held accountable for what she terms “Rabaa massacre”.
“Justice must apply to all – no one should be immune.”
Bachelet’s statements seem to have come without investigation or analysis of the events occurring on the ground during the Rabaa sit-in.
Chile's President Michelle Bachelet delivers the annual State of the Nation address at the national congress building in Valparaiso city, Chile, May 21, 2016. REUTERS/Rodrigo Garrido
“I urge the Government of Egypt to ensure that justice will be done, according to law, in relation to any individuals – including members of the state security forces – who are suspected of committing a crime.” Once again. Bachelet’s words fly in the face of the sovereignty that Egypt holds and that international agreements have documented.
Without evidence and investigation teams on the ground, Bachelet’s statements lack neutrality, impartiality and unbias.
Responding to Bachelet’s remarks, the Egyptian Foreign Ministry said that Bachelet’s comments are influenced by “the terrorist Muslim Brotherhood lies.”
Egypt has not signed the international agreement to prevent the death penalty implementation; the United Nations recognizes Egypt’s right to implement this penalty.
Egypt has the right to choose and set its legal and judiciary systems according to the constitution approved in 1923 and in accordance with judiciary independence constitutional articles 94/2014.
Additional reporting by Mohamed Zain, Lolwa Reda.