ًWill the Death Penalty Resolve Egypt's Security Crisis?

Sent On: 
Thu, 2014-05-01
Newsletter Number: 

On Monday April 28th, the Minya Criminal Court sentenced 683 people to death in a controversial ruling, including Muslim Brotherhood Supreme Guide Muhammad Badī’, and former speaker of the People’s Assembly, Saad al-Katātnī. The charges included inciting violence, murdering a police officer, and storming the ‘Adwah Police Station in Minya. The case is currently pending the approval of the grand muftī. While some think that these death penalties will resolve the continuous state of insecurity and violence that Egypt has been facing since July 3rd 2014; there is strong evidence that the violence will escalate.

The ruling was issued in a 5 minute session, in which Counselor Sa’īd Yūsuf, head of the seventh department of the Minya Criminal Court, pronounced the verdict in absentia. After he issued the verdict, he has called upon the prosecution to appeal his own ruling, regretting that he has "used compassion” against the defendants. 

While the Muslim Brotherhood rejects any use of violence, there have been reported splits in its ranks by youth leaders who call for serious armed confrontations with the security forces. Ahmad al Mughīr, former member of the Muslim Brotherhood, who was formally banned by the group, has called through his Facebook and Twitter accounts to adopt violent means outright. He has publicized a booklet called “Organizing Resistance” through his Twitter account, in which he calls upon the people to form armed and organized militias to resist the police and armed forces. He explains how members should communicate, organize themselves and the type of weapons that should be used. Read the booklet in Arabic. Read the English Summary of the book here.

In the aftermath of the death sentence on Monday April 28, he argued that any form of peacefulness is a form of treason and cowardliness.

While this death sentence is likely to lead to the escalation of violence, these statements calling for outright violence are not acceptable. While the trial and death sentences are complicating matters, as well as breaching the rights of the defendants, such as a free trial and individualized judgment, there are parties refusing to take positive steps towards a solution. The security situation is likely to continue in the absence of political attempts to resolve the political crisis since the deposal of Mursī on July 3rd.

Continue reading this report here.  


Yosra El Gendi

Researcher,  Arab-West Report