Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry speaks during a United Nations Security Council meeting about the situation in Libya in the Manhattan borough of New York February 18, 2015 - REUTERS/Carlo Allegri
CAIRO – 24 February 2019: The Egyptian Foreign Ministry condemned on Sunday international human rights statements criticizing the Egyptian judiciary's verdict against nine young men, over assassinating the country's top prosecutor Hesham Barakat in 2015.
The ministry affirmed that all conditions for fair trial were provided.
The nine convicts, who are believed to be belonging to the Muslim Brotherhood group, designated by the state as a terrorist organization, were announced executed on Wednesday. Four of them appeared earlier in a video admitting their crime, with no signs of torture. However, they said later that they were forced to confess.
The Foreign Ministry expressed total rejection of attacking the Egyptian judiciary, following statements issued by the spokesperson of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, and a group of special rapporteurs of the United Nations Human Rights Council.
The statement issued by the ministry said that the verdict came after lengthy trial sessions in which all guarantees of fair and honest trials were provided. It also stressed the independence of the Egyptian judiciary and its right to issue verdicts in accordance with Egyptian laws, which are also based on respect for the relevant international standards.
The statement voiced Egypt's rejection of any reference to allegations about obtaining forced confessions. It called for a careful reading of the grounds of the judgment, and the facts on which they were based to make sure how the judiciary was committed to national and international determinants in this regard, instead of relying only on tendentious allegations.
The ministry eventually urged international human rights bodies to respect the cultural and legal systems of all countries and bear in consideration differences between countries of the world, which the ministry said is an integral part of human rights. It also called on these bodies to refrain from trying to impose unilateral visions that are superior to others.
On the same day of the execution, Egypt's President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi affirmed the independence of the judiciary in the country, presidential spokesman Bassam Radi said.
"The president confirmed that the state supports the public prosecution and the judicial authorities in Egypt because the rule of law is the basis for ruling," Radi said.
"The president noted the significance of upholding justice as the noblest human value and basis for societies' stability," the spokesman said, adding that Sisi also affirmed that no one can interfere in the work of the judiciary or its independence and that the state works to reinforce this principle.
The executed individuals were convicted of bombing the convoy of late Hesham Barakat on June 15, 2015 during the holy month of Ramadan. The perpetrators were charged with deliberate and premeditated killing, possession of prohibited weapons, and explosives acquisition.
The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights OHCHR earlier expressed concern that the trials that led to the execution of 15 people in Egypt this month may not have been fair, under allegations of the use of torture in obtaining confessions.
OHCHR spokesperson Rupert Colville said: “During the trial, detailed accounts of the torture allegedly used to obtain confessions, were apparently ignored by the courts without due consideration,” UN News reported.
“All of them had claimed before the courts that they had been disappeared, or detained incommunicado for prolonged periods, and were subjected to torture in order to make them confess to the crimes,” Colville explained.
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