World Bulletin / News Desk
Turkey's National Assembly adopted a joint declaration that condemned the death sentences of 529 anti-coup activists in Egypt.
Signed by all political parties represented in the parliament, the declaration urged Egypt's administration not to implement the sentences:
"After a military coup was conducted on the Arab Republic of Egypt's first democratically elected government on 3 July 2013, a number of serious breaches on human rights - with the right to life above all - took place. Our commission met on 4 July 2013 and all lawmakers of political parties represented in the commission signed a declaration condemning the coup and human rights breaches in Egypt. After that, the commission decided to send a delegation from the commission to Egypt and attempted to do so via the Foreign Ministry. However, the wish of the commission was rejected by the Arab Republic of Egypt.
Turkey's Grand National Assembly head Cemil Cicek and commission head Ayhan Sefer Ustun shared this situation with the public in a joint statement and called on all civilized and democratic countries to act. The commission's office also sent a letter to various international organizations and foreign parliaments to bring attention to the serious violations. However, instead of decreasing the basic human rights violations, Egypt continued to increase them, killing thousands of people and in the end the country became covered in blood and tears. As executions continue without due process, verdicts have been made that are contrary to universal principles of law. On 24 March 2014, in just the second hearing, death sentences were issued to 529 individuals in just 20 minutes. In this day and age, the death penalty cannot go hand in hand with human honor. These death sentences will only lead to the polarization of Egyptian society, as well as emotions of hatred and revenge, and will deepen instability in Arab nations. With this in mind, our commission has come to the following conclusions after its consultation:
- We firmly condemn the death sentence verdicts as they are openly political and completely constrary to universal principles of law.
- Firstly, we call on the execution of the death sentence decision to be halted immediately.
- Additionally, we call for the death sentences and the breaches of human rights along with all their outcomes to be lifted.
- Verdicts made by courts in this state of emergency should respect human rights and should be given to seek justice in order to add to regional and global peace and democracy".
Turkish FM fears polarization
Turkey's Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu has criticised the death penalty issued against 529 people in Egypt, saying it would cause "deeper polarization".
In a televised interview on Wednesday, Davutoglu said Turkey stood with the Egyptian people since the beginning of the unrest which followed the removal of democratically elected president Mohamed Morsi in 2013.
"The death penalty decision will not provide stability in Egypt, but cause a deeper polarization," Davutoglu said. "Their foreign minister said the sentence has not received its final approval, so it could be presented as forgiveness by the next president which could be [General Abdel-Fattah] Sisi, if he decides to do so."
On 24 March, 529 individuals were sentenced to death in Egypt on charges related to violence south of the capital Cairo. At least 600 more individuals are currently on trial for similar charges. Egypt's foreign minister, Nabil Fahmy, said the 529 people sentenced to death have not yet received their final verdict.
Turkey rallies against 529 death sentences in Egypt
Thousands gathered at squares across Turkey on Wednesday to voice their condemnation of the mass death sentences handed down by an Egyptian court against hundreds of Muslim Brotherhood members.
A number of non-governmental organizations along with youth branches of Turkey's ruling Justice and Development (AK) Party held rallies around the country including the cities of Antalya, Kayseri, Izmir and Sakarya.
The demonstrators put up symbolic scaffolds in the main squares and carried placards reading "Humanity is dying, world remains mute", "Oppression of Sisi, shame of the world" and "Egypt has never changed, its dungeons are still full of Yousef's (the Prophet who was unduly thrown into a dungeon in then Egypt)."
Messages were also read out decrying the death sentences and maintaining Turkey's clear and firm stance against the coup regime that removed Egypt’s first democratically elected president of Egypt last summer.
Petition campaigns for the annulment of the death penalty have also been launched in some of the cities where the protests were held.
Meanwhile, a member of the Turkish Parliament's Human Rights Investigation Commission, Levent Gok, submitted a petition to the head of commission calling for an urgent meeting to discuss the mass death sentences.
In his petition, Gok asserted that the Egyptian court ruling is unjust in terms of the trial period length and its procedures, warning that the rulings' implementation may lead to further polarization within the Egyptian community provoking feelings of hatred and revenge.Last Mod: 10 Nisan 2014, 15:35