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Security-Related Charges and Designations

Adwa Case

Court / Presiding Judge

"First Review: Minya Criminal Court/Judge Said Youssef al-Sattar
Second Review: Minya Criminal Court"

Procedural History

On June 21, 2014, the court issued its verdict. Upon a Court of Cassation ruling ordering a retrial in February 2015, the court began to rehear the case. The retrial is still ongoing today.

Verdict

The court sentenced 183 defendants to death and four defendants to various prison terms; it acquitted 496 defendants. Thereafter, the Court of Cassation ordered a retrial, which is still ongoing today.

Summary of Reasoning

The case dates back to violence that occurred in Adwa in the aftermath of the Raba’a al-Adaweya and Nahda Square sit-in dispersals in August 2013. The defendants faced charges of murder, the attempted murder of five people, threatening public order, and burning the Adwa police station.

Anecdotal Notes

Outside of the sentencing hearings for this case upon first review, there was only one substantive hearing; only 74 of the defendants were present. The judge had initially recommended provisional death sentences for all 683 defendants, but changes were made when the verdict was ultimately issued. Various United Nations human rights experts condemned the case: “By imposing mass death sentences on several occasions over the past two years, the Egyptian courts have shown their utter disregard for the right to life as protected under international law." Organizations including Human Rights Watch and Amnesty also publicly spoke out about the case and the procedural irregularities involved in a speedy mass trial.

Legal & Judicial Implications

Because the case is a mass trial in which a number of defendants were prosecuted collectively and in a speedy manner, the case raises numerous implications regarding the right to a fair trial and due process.