Over 30 people were executed and nearly 600 death sentences were issued in Egypt in the first 11 months of 2018, according to a report issued on Sunday by the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights (EIPR).
In the absence of an official toll, the figures help document the stark rise in the use of the death penalty in Egypt over the last several years. The report represents the number of cases EIPR researchers were able to verify through media reports or through relatives of defendants.
The report shows that, between January and November 2018, at least 32 defendants were executed in 8 civilian cases and 11 military cases. At least 581 defendants were issued death sentences in 174 civilian cases and 9 military cases over the same period.
The figures, which are broken down by month in a series of infographics, indicate that September saw the highest number of death sentences issued, with 151 defendants sentenced to death in 31 civilian cases. March saw the highest number of executions, with 12 defendants executed in three civilian cases and one military case.
Prominent cases are also documented in the report, including when preliminary death sentences against nine defendants convicted for the assassination of prosecutor general Hisham Barakat were upheld in November. In October, 17 defendants were sentenced to death by a military court in relation to the bombing of Cairo’s St. Peter and Paul Orthodox Church in December 2016, as well as the twin Palm Sunday bombings that targeted churches in Alexandria and Tanta in April 2017
The study tallies figures up until November, but a number of executions have been reported this month so far, including seven prisoners who were executed in Minya on December 5. On Saturday, a death sentence was handed down against a defendant accused of killing a doctor in Cairo.
Earlier this month, the European Parliament demanded that the Egyptian government cease applying the death penalty and pointed to “at least 144 executions” carried out under President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, in a resolution on human rights violations in Egypt that was adopted on December 13.
According to a report by Amnesty International issued in April, more than 35 defendants were executed in 2017, and 402 defendants were sentenced to death during 2017, a 70 percent increase from 2016.