Two death sentences were upheld by the Supreme Military Court of Appeals on Monday, which also accepted appeals against four other death sentences in the same case and ordered retrials, according to the Egyptian Coordination for Rights and Freedoms (ECRF).
Death sentences against defendants Ahmed Amin and Abdel Basir Hassan were upheld. Amin and Hassan are two out of 20 civilians charged with targeting security personnel in the highly publicized case.
The court also upheld life sentences issued to six defendants and 15-year-sentences against another six, according to the ECRF.
In May 2016, a Cairo military court issued a series of sentences to defendants: eight people were sentenced to death, with two in absentia; 12 people were sentenced to life in prison, with half in absentia; six people were issued 15-year sentences and two individuals were acquitted.
All the defendants were charged with belonging to an “advanced operations” cell, allegedly trained to target police and military personnel, while individual charges ranged from publicizing military secrets, possession of arms and assembling electronic circuits to assisting in the making of an explosive device.
Compared to similar cases in the past, this case gained a particularly high public profile after Egyptian state television broadcast a number of the defendants confessing to forming militant cells with the aim of assassinating state officials and targeting state facilities in June 2015.
The No to Military Trials for Civilians campaign, founded by a group of activists, lawyers, journalists and rights organizations, documented the disappearance of some of the defendants in April 2016, before they were charged, and said that they were tortured in custody.
Death sentences and executions have increased in frequency in past months. Twenty-six people sentenced to death in military trials were executed between December 2017 and February of this year. On February 8, the European Parliament issued a resolution condemning recent executions in Egypt and demanded that the Egyptian government immediately stop its executions.