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6 convicts in ‘Arab Sharkas cell’ case executed - Daily News Egypt

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6 convicts in ‘Arab Sharkas cell’ case executed

This is the 12th execution to take place since beginning of 2015

Six convicts in the ‘Arab Sharkas cell’ were executed by the Egyptian authorities at Sunday 5am.

Hours after the incident, families of the deceased gathered in front of the Zeinhom morgue to receive the bodies of their relatives.

A photograph of the men sentenced in the Arab Sharkas case. (Photo: Public Domain)

The six deceased are Mohamed Bakry, Hani Moustafa, Mohamed Afifi, Abdel Rahman Al-Sayed, Khaled Farag, Islam Sayed.

One of the defendants is a high school student named Abdel Rahman Al-Sayed, who was arrested in March 2014.

Prominent international NGO, Human Rights Watch, said that although there is little evidence to prove that some of the defendants were detained at the time of the crimes, they were still charged and convicted. The watchdog claims that the three of the defendants were arrested prior to the attacks.

Amr Darrag, co-founder of the dissolved Freedom and Justice Party, considered the execution a “crime”. Students Against the Coup (SAC) posted alleged pictures of the body of Al-Sayed in the morgue, with his family gathered around him.

In October 2014, the Supreme Military Court sentenced seven defendants to death, and another two to life. The sessions were held in the military area in the Hikestep military camp on the Ismailia-Cairo road.

They were charged with, according to the military prosecution, killing a military officer in Cairo in March 2014, and murdering another six soldiers in the same month.

They also faced the charge of killing two high ranking officers during clashes with riot police.

The two officers were trying to defuse bombs allegedly planted by the accused in a village named “Arab Sharkas” in the governorate of Qaliubiya, north of Cairo.

A previous appeal against the death sentences was rejected by the military court.

During the attack, six members of the cell were killed in clashes with the Special Forces that surrounded the village.

Days after the attack, Ansar Beit Al-Maqdis, now known as “State of Sinai”, released a statement mourning six of its dead members.

The group is yet to release a statement to comment or react to the incident.

London-based group Human Rights Monitor expressed its concern over the incident. “The court ignored all evidence that might enable the defendants to be acquitted,” the group said, adding that the sentenced did not have enough time to address the court and were subjected to torture.

The group also claimed that the court was selective when it came to choosing witnesses, as the only witness was a Homeland Security officer. It added that they were beaten to confess to the charges.

This is the third of a set of execution verdicts carried out in 2015. Mahmoud Ramadan, who was sentenced to death on charges of throwing a child off a rooftop in Alexandria in 2013, was executed on 7 March.

Ramadan was filmed during violent clashes in the Sidi Gaber area of Alexandria, where a group of alleged Morsi supporters chased a group of children into a building’s rooftop.

On 26 April, five men convicted of murder and possessions of arms were executed in Assiut, Upper Egypt.

There has been a surge of death sentence handed down to citizens since the military-led ouster of former president Mohamed Morsi. Hundreds have been given sentences on different charges related to violence, terrorism, and attacking military facilities.

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