The Cairo Criminal Court on Saturday sentenced one defendant to death, eight to serve life sentences, and the remaining 15 were sentenced to 15 years imprisonment in the in the “Secret Loyalty” terrorist cell case.
The prosecution charged the defendants with creating an illegal cell and hindering state institutions from carrying out their work, and violating citizens’ personal privacy.
The cell also allegedly called for the removal of the regime by use of force and organising hostile attacks against police officers, tourists, and Coptic Christians.
In early September, the Cairo Criminal Court sentenced four defendants to death, six to 10 years strict imprisonment, and two to 15 years strict imprisonment in what was known as the Tanta cell case.
The defendants in the case were facing charges of establishing an illegal group that aimed to misrepresent authorities and assault the personal freedoms of citizens.
Since the ouster of the Muslim Brotherhood regime in 2013, hundreds have received death sentences and life sentences on charges of belonging to the outlawed organisation.
Local independent movement Against Death Sentences has called on civil society organisations and political parties to call for the suspension of death penalty sentences for the next five years, in an official statement released in early September.
The movement suggested this suspension would allow for public discussion on the different aspects of the death sentences.
“A death sentence is an irreversible verdict that strips away the lives of defendants even if it is proven later that they were not guilty,” the statement read.
According to the movement, this topic has not been publicly discussed in Egypt before. The statement also stated that some countries had already abolished capital punishment, like Algeria and Morocco.