Secretary General Ban Ki-moon
New York, NY 10017
Tuesday 19 May 2015
Dear Secretary General,
We write to you to express our concerns about the death sentence handed to Mohamed Morsi and more than 100 others by an Egyptian court on Saturday 16 May 2015. The death sentences were for their supposed role in a mass jailbreak during the 2011 uprising against Hosni Mubarak.
The trial against Mr Morsi and the others has been criticised for contravening international human rights standards and the rule of law; Mr Morsi was held incommunicado without judicial oversight, he was not allowed a lawyer to represent him, and many of the co-accused were tried and found guilty in abstentia. Amnesty International, the EU and others have pointed out that the whole process was flawed and the sentence was cruel and inhumane.
We too share these sentiments, particularly as this trial and the verdict are nothing more than a political tool to silence the democratic aspirations of the people of Egypt. Mr Morsi was elected in 2011 as Egypt’s president in the country’s first free and fair democratic elections, before the military ousted him via a coup. By sentencing Mr Morsi the coup leaders are making it clear that any aspirations for a free and democratic Egypt, by its people, will be thwarted, even if that means the mass execution of Mr Morsi and his fellow detainees.
The sentences are subject to legal appeal and the court will make its final decision on 02 June 2015, as under Egyptian law, death sentences are referred to the grand mufti.
We urge you to use this short window of time to add your voice to the growing international condemnation of the trial and sentencing. We also urge you to pressure the Egyptian government to overturn these inhumane sentences and release Mr Morsi and his fellow detainees. We urge you to use all available mechanisms within the UN to apply pressure on the Egyptian government. The severity of his case and the complete violation of international human rights laws by the courts highlights his case to be one of extreme importance to your office, and we trust all necessary steps will be taken to secure his immediate release. To not do so is to allow an injustice to go unchallenged and to tacitly accept that it is legitimate for the democratic will of the people of Egypt to be overridden by a cruel and tyrannical military regime.
I look forward to hearing from you.
Chair – Islamic Human Rights Commission