#Egypt: Mass Death Sentences after new #Constitution

#Egypt: Mass Death Sentences after new #Constitution

Since the end of March you can watch a scandal of judiciary in Egypt, which is also a disaster for a democratic Egypt.

24/03/2014: Egypt’s Minya criminal court sentences 529 Brotherhood supporters to death

28/04/2014: Egypt court sentences 683 Morsi supporters to death

There was no evidence, no witnesses, and the lawyers could not give their views. The court disregarded due process, the current constitution and human rights.

02/05/2014: The legal view of an Egyptian judge objectively shows the problems and consequences of processes.

Of course, there are many national and international reactions to these judgments:

28/04/2014: Local and int’l outrage at Minya court’s verdicts on Monday

28/04/2014: EU to issue harsh words on Egypt’s mass death sentence verdict

The African Commission observes at the request of Muslim Brotherhood these processes:

27/04/2014: African Union orders Egypt to suspend mass death sentence

The commission may refer the cases to the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights.

Why should the international community intervene?

Such a scandal should not be repeated because of problems for national and international policies. Politics should not have to deal with the failure of a state authority, but to be confident that the structures will solve imperfections.

The Egyptian government is committed by the Constitution to human rights and international agreements. It could ask without self-restraint the international community to monitor compliance.

The Arab Spring is not the first transformation from dictatorship to democracy and rule of law. One could learn from the diverse experiences of the UN.

A state in the irreversible transition will accept the help offered despite national self-determination to prevent turning back to dictatorship.

Therefore the international community should offer to help Egypt!

Two minimal criteria for progress on rule of law

A screening of judges by an independent commission will be performed.

Individual cases before the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights will be accepted.

60 years dictatorship have left their mark!

The institutions of the state and their employees are from the period of the dictatorship. Until all employees have learned that a modern constitutional state works differently than a dictatorship, it will be necessary to enforce ones rights. In addition to constitution, government and parliament, the judiciary is a very important pillar of modern states.

However, the citizens must have confidence in the judiciary!

But the judges are handicapped. They have learned in a dictatorship. Their jurisdiction could support the dictatorship. They could be involved in criminal networks and commit serious human rights violations.

See 08/11/2013: Event Recap: The Relationship Between Rule of Law and Transitional Justice (Dr. Jan van Zyl Smit and Pablo De Greiff)

With a screening the judges show that they want to apply the rules of law in the future. Without their willingness Egypt preserves the foundations for a dictatorship!

African Human Rights

Egypt signed and ratified the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights. According to Article 93 of the Constitution it has the force of law in Egypt. Thus, Article 7 of the Banjul Charter guarantees Egyptian citizens a fair trial.

The government can easily achieve confidence in the transition to the rule of law when it granted the citizens direct access to the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights. Government only must ratify the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the Establishment of the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights and deposit a declaration in conformity with Article 34, paragraph 6.

It is only a formal relief. But the AfCtHPR will be for the citizens (psychologically) an additional appeal court. That is the important sign of the state, which gives it credibility.


EU is already working as mediators and observers and should coordinate the policies of the AU, the UN and the United States. The AU and UN are able to offer the necessary assistance by their organizations. While the United States should support the common policy as a longstanding partner of Egypt.

Egypt can deny or accept the assistance in national sovereignty. It thus sets signs, whether it wants to return to dictatorship or complete the transition.

All parties will benefit from a functioning judiciary. The Egyptian State wins as a constitutional state the confidence of citizens and international community. The demands of the revolution can be achieved through politics and the judiciary. Less demonstrations and riots improve as a result the economic situation in Egypt.

Who would not want to use these options?