Islamic Human Rights Commission
23 March 2010
Update Alert: Egypt – Hizbullah detainees facing the death penalty
The prosecution has called for the death penalty for the 26 defendants in the “Hizbullah case”. Defendants were charged with conspiracy, murder, spying for another country for terrorist purposes and plotting attacks against Egypt and Israel.
The hearing is adjourned until April 28, as the defence team argued that the Prosecution had falsified documents. The case has been referred to the Military courts under the Emergency Law where there is no recourse to appeal. Defendants can only get released with a presidential pardon if convicted.
The defendants were arrested at the end of 2008 and beginning of 2009. The trial was to begin in August but had been adjourned many times as the defence team requested further investigations. The 26 defendants included Egyptians, Sudanese, Palestinians and Lebanese.
Hizbullah Secretary General Hassan Nasrallah stated that they sent Samy Shehab to Egypt as an intermediary for Hamas. Nasrallah had called the Egyptian authorities to permanently open the Rafah crossing during the last Israeli aggression on Gaza. He called Egypt “a partner in crime” with Israel against Palestinians in Gaza; however, he denied planning any attacks against Egypt.
Five of the defendants were accused of belonging to the Muslim Brotherhood (MB), a charge denied by their lawyer, Abdel Munem Abdel Maksoud, who argued that these allegations were a pretext to brand MB as a terrorist organization and ban all their activities. He also stressed that there is no relationship between the Brotherhood and Hizbullah.
The prosecutor demanded the death sentence for the defendants. The defendants have denied all charges in a hand-written letter smuggled off the prosecution stating that they never planned attacks in Egypt but were trying to help Hamas.
For further background information including prior IHRC alerts on the case of Hizbullah detainees, please visit the following link:
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