The highest appeals court in Egypt has upheld the life sentences of 10 political prisoners, including leaders in Muslim Brotherhood Movement.
The defendants are accused of allegedly helping about 20,000 prisoners escape, and of undermining national security by conspiring with foreign armed groups.
All of the sentences, which the court considered on appeal, are final.
Earlier last month, Egypt’s highest civilian court upheld death sentences for 12 Muslim Brotherhood members.
The trial was linked to a 2013 mass killing by military forces at the Rabaa al-Adawiya Square sit-in.
Human Rights Watch stressed the need to halt the execution of the prominent Muslim Brotherhood leaders “who had been convicted in a grossly unfair mass trial for participation in the 2013 Rab’a sit-in that ended with security forces killing at least 817 protestors.”
“The Rab’a trial was a mockery of justice, so it is outrageous that the highest court has upheld these 12 death sentences,” said Joe Stork, deputy Middle East and North Africa director at Human Rights Watch.
“President Sisi should seize this moment to void their execution and put an end to Egypt’s profligate use of the death penalty,” he added.
Amnesty International has earlier documented a sharp rise in the number of executions in Egypt, with at least 51 carried out so far this year.
Meanwhile, a group of exiled Egyptian politicians and activists sent an open letter to the US, UN and multinational bodies in Europe to intervene to stop the execution of 12 Muslim Brotherhood Members.
Signed by the Egyptian National Action Group (ENAG), the letter was addressed to the US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and Josep Borrell, the high representative of the European Union for foreign affairs and security policy
“It is your moral duty to use of your influence as the European Union’s High Representative to prevent [President Abdel Fattah] el-Sisi’s regime from using the death penalty and life imprisonment against political dissidents,” read the letter.
The letter stressed the urgent need to take “action by the African Commission to avoid irreparable harm to the individuals’ rights under the African Charter, particularly the right to life and integrity of person”.
“It is submitted that the 12 individuals are at risk of imminent execution, and therefore irreparable violation to their fundamental right to life and to human dignity, and that urgent action by the African Commission is required to avoid irreparable harm to the individuals’ rights.”