Military court upholds death sentences against 7 accused of 2015 Kafr al-Sheikh bombing

Death penalties were upheld against seven defendants implicated in the Kafr al-Sheikh Stadium case on Monday, after the Supreme Military Court rejected their appeal against a 2016 sentence. The military court also sentenced a number of defendants in the case to life in prison.

A military court previously issued death sentences against seven defendants in the case, including three fugitives, in February 2016. The case dates back to April 2015 when a bombing targeting a group of college students waiting for a bus in Kafr al-Sheikh left seven dead and three injured. Investigations into the case were initially carried out by the general prosecution, however it was later referred to military prosecution.

A number of rights organizations and groups, including the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights, No to Military Trials, and Against Capital Punishment, issued a statement on Sunday claiming that all defendants in this case have been forcibly disappeared for more than 70 days, held in national security and state intelligence facilities and police stations across different governorates. 

“Most of the defendants were tortured, according to the written testimonies given to relatives during prison visits, which was later confirmed by the signs of torture found on their bodies seven months after their arrest,” the statement reads.

Earlier in June the Court of Cassation upheld six death sentences for people accused of killing an enlisted police officer who was part of the protection unit for Judge Hussein Qandil, one of the judges overseeing the Ettehadiya palace clashes trial of former Islamist President Mohamed Morsi in 2012.

A Criminal Court in Cairo also referred preliminary death sentences for 30 defendants accused of killing former top prosecutor Hesham Barakat to Egypt’s grand mufti for review on Saturday. A final verdict is scheduled for July 22.

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