CAIRO, 9 February 2021 – At least 37 people sentenced to death were executed by Egyptian authorities during the month of November 2020, a rights group said Monday.

A total of 74 people received preliminary death sentences in the courts during the same month, according to the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights (EIPR).

Stop Execution Rally Outside Jail - Photo  Ozan Kose, AFP via Getty Images

Stop Execution Rally Outside Jail – Photo
Ozan Kose, AFP via Getty Images

There has been a “steady increase in the number of cases that end with a death sentence,” the EIPR said in its report.

The EIPR also noted that there had been a sharp increase in the total number of death sentences issued by Egyptian courts in one year.

At least 30 people were sentenced to death in December 2020, down from 44 death penalty rulings in November 2020.

Three executions were carried out last December compared to 37 executions last November and 53 carried out in October 2020 – the largest number in any month over the last five years.

Ex-Egyptian President Mohamed Mursi (2nd R) with other senior figures of the Muslim Brotherhood in a cage in a courthouse on the first day of his trial, in Cairo, November 4, 2013 - Photo Reutes/Stringer

Ex-Egyptian President Mohamed Mursi (2nd R) with other senior figures of the Muslim Brotherhood in a cage in a courthouse on the first day of his trial, in Cairo, November 4, 2013 – Photo Reutes/Stringer

EIPR explains that more than 100 crimes are punishable by death under Egyptian law, including a host of drug and harm-related offenses, as well as terrorist offenses and infractions set out in the Code of Military Justice.

The death penalty “constitutes a grave violation of human rights, does not achieve the desired deterrence, and is not enjoined by Islamic law (Shari’a) as commonly perceived,” wrote EIPR in its 2018 report on the issue.

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