On Saturday, an Egyptian man became the first to be executed following hundreds of death sentences handed out in Egypt after the violence following the overthrow of President Mohammed Morsi by the military coup of Gen. Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi, who became the new president of Egypt last year. The man, Mahmoud Ramadan, was convicted of murder and was sentenced to death a year ago. He was executed by hanging a month after the high court upheld his sentence for an incident during riots after the coup when two young men were thrown from a roof in Alexandria. Video footage of two youths being thrown from the roof in mid-2013 during the clashes between anti-coup protesters and el-Sissi supporters and the Egyptian security forces was widely viewed.
Ramadan was not officially a Muslim Brotherhood member. He was described as a "radical Islamist" and "supporter of Morsi" by Egyptian security forces. A man who tucked a black Islamist flag in his trousers seen in the video footage was alleged to be Ramadan. The other victim died after being thrown from the same roof, although the incident was not captured in the video in question.
According to human rights activists, Ramadan admitted stabbing one of the young men, but never admitted to throwing him off the roof. There is no doubt that he was in a bad condition in prison, was probably tortured, and was at least under pressure to admit the murder. These facts make his denial more significant. However, whether he did it or not, or whether he should be punished or not, is not the question here. Ramadan deserved to face a fair trial like everyone else. But this is not a habit of the el-Sissi government. Ramadan's lawyers asked the prosecution to provide more evidence, or to call more witnesses to prove that he actually committed the murder, but the court ignored their requests. The court did not listen to the calls of international human rights commissions including the African Commission of Human and Peoples' Rights to stop the absurdity.
On the other hand, at least 50 others have been jailed for at least 15 months for their alleged involvement in the same case. If the one who murdered the youth was Ramadan, why are the others in prison? If not, why was Ramadan hanged? Hanging Ramadan is not even an execution, it is a politically-motivated murder. The execution of Ramadan is an insult to justice in a country where mass trials have already become a mockery of the law. Sentencing hundreds of prisoners after a single trial and beginning executions right away, one by one, cannot be allowed in a normal country.
More than 700 people, allegedly members of the Muslim Brotherhood, the organization banned right after the el-Sissi coup, have been sentenced to death after mass trials where hundreds face one single hearing at once for their role in the violence following the bloody military coup. But the ones involved in the violence were not only defenders of Morsi, as a matter of fact, thousands of them were brutally killed while many Sissi supporters played their part during the clashes.
The hanging of Ramadan Mahmoud shows that the politically-motivated mass trials of the el-Sissi government will be followed by other political executions. This is just the beginning of a way to the death of hundreds, including Mohammed Morsi himself. It is a shame that the world remains silent.