by Ayman Ahmed
General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi’s executioners continue to hang people at an alarming rate.
For such barbarism, Sisi has earned the dubious distinction of being the most hated man in Egypt.
Far from halting such brutality, at least in the month of Ramadan, Sisi has intensified executions in Egypt.
The latest batch of 17 prisoners, among them an 80-year-old Qur’an teacher Sheikh Abdel Halim Gabreel, were executed on April 26.
The executions were carried out in complete secrecy at dawn in Wadi al-Natrun Prison.
The prisoners’ families were not notified, as is customary, to allow a final visit.
All the men were convicted on fabricated charges in the case dubbed by the media as the “Kerdasa massacre” in 2013.
During attack on a police station in the Giza suburb of Kerdasa, 13 policemen were killed.
The 17 men including Sheikh Gabreel were arrested and convicted of carrying out the attack.
Apart from confessions extracted under torture, no evidence was presented in court.
In Sisi’s Egypt—and indeed even under the brutal regime of his predecessor, Hosni Mubarak—torture of alleged opponents is rampant.
Confessions under torture are then presented as “evidence” in court.
Judges in Egypt are notorious for kowtowing to the rulers’ wishes.
It was no different in the trial of the 17 men although the first court quashed the charges because of use of torture.
Undeterred, the regime went ahead with the case in another court.
There is little doubt that the second judge was told in no uncertain terms to deliver the verdict demanded by the regime or he might find himself not only out of a job but with the prisoners in Egypt’s notorious jails.
Human rights organizations raised serious questions about the regime’s claim of the identity of assailants.
They said their identity remains unknown.
The UK-based Arab Organisation for Human Rights (AOHR) was one of them that raised serious questions about the accused men’s identities.
It said the state has not presented any concrete evidence linking the men to the attack.
Even the prosecution’s own witnesses testified in court that they had not signed the statement the regime alleged they had made about the identity of Sheikh Gabreel.
His conviction raised serious concerns.
Being 80 years old and suffering from serious health issues, it was virtually impossible for Sheikh Gabreel to have taken part in the deadly raid.
Further, eyewitnesses presented testimonies in court stating that the Sheikh was not among those originally present near the Kerdasa police station on the day of the incident.
His lawyer said he never committed any criminal act throughout his life and that he suffered from psoriasis and could not walk long distances, which made it impossible for him to participate in any criminal operations.
Names of the 16 other prisoners executed are:
Walid Saad Abu Omaira, Mohamed Rizk Abuel Soud, Ashraf Sayed Rizk, Ahmed Owes Hussein, Essam Abdel Moety, Ahmed Abdel Nabi, Badr Abdel Nabi, Qutb Sayed Qutb, Omar Mohamed El-Sayed, Izzat Al-Attar, Ali El-Sayed Kenawy, Abdullah Saeed, Mohamed Yousef Al-Seidi, Ahmed Abdel Salam, Arafat Abdel Latif, Mustafa El-Sayed El-Kerfesh.
Amnesty International said in a report that there has been a 300% rise in executions in Egypt.
As Muslims, it is our belief that the executed men will find a place in Paradise, especially in this blessed month of Ramadan.
This is Allah’s promise to His faithful servants.
Sisi should look for a place in the lowest depths of Hell for his barbarism and criminality.