New York

28 April 2014

Statement attributable to the Spokesman for the Secretary-General on Egypt

The Secretary-General is alarmed by the news that another preliminary mass death sentence has been handed down today in Egypt, the first of which was on 24 March. Verdicts that clearly appear not to meet basic fair trial standards, particularly those which impose the death penalty, are likely to undermine prospects for long-term stability. As such, the Secretary-General is conscious of the regional and security implications of such sentences. Stability in Egypt is essential for the overall stability of the entire North Africa and Middle East region.

Separately, the Secretary-General is concerned about a court case today banning the activities of the April 6 Youth Movement. He was disappointed that the appeals court on 7 April upheld the jailing of three emblematic figures of the 2011 uprising, including two founders of the youth movement. While respecting the independence of the judiciary, he recalls that both he and the High Commissioner for Human Rights expressed concerns before and after the law regulating protest was promulgated, believing that it could lead to serious breaches of the right to freedom of peaceful assembly.

The Secretary-General intends to discuss these concerns and other issues with the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Egypt, Nabil Fahmy, later this week.