In Amnesty International’s annual report on death sentences and executions, Egypt ranked 13th in the list of countries that executed the highest number of people in 2010, with 4 executions and 185 death sentences.
The report said Egypt executes inmates without giving a proper notice to their families and lawyers. However, Amnesty expects that democratic change in Egypt after the 25 January Revolution will lead to a decrease in its use of the death penalty.
The report said that in one case, a man, Atef Rohyum, was hanged despite evidence of his innocence.
According to the report, fewer death sentences and executions were reported in the Middle East and North Africa in 2010 compared to previous years. But Amnesty accuses the region of carrying out executions following unfair trials and for unworthy offenses such as drug-trafficking and adultery.
Amnesty is concerned that the instability in many Middle Eastern countries, especially Libya, Iran and Yemen, may lead to mass executions of political opponents, particularly because statistics show that these countries have witnessed a surge in executions since the start of anti-regime protests.
According to the report, Egypt’s delegation stated during its Human Rights Council review in February that capital punishment is used in Egypt only for “very serious crimes” and that there has been a reduction in its use.
At the end of the review, Egypt accepted a recommendation to respect minimum standards relating to the use of dealth penalty but rejected a recommendation to suspend executions in preparation for abolishing the death sentence altogether.
According to Amnesty’s report, China executed more people in 2010 than the rest of the world put together. China is followed by Iran, North Korea, Yemen and the US as the counties that carried out the most executions in 2010.