Letter published in The Guardian (UK daily), April 3, 2014
The death sentence handed down to 529 protesters by an Egyptian court (news report, March 24, 2014) should have produced much more than mumbled regret from the British government. This was a political show trial in which less than half the defendants were present in court. Their defence lawyers were not in the court either. The trial has been condemned by Amnesty International.
The protesters were not, as reports have routinely claimed, all supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood and revulsion at the verdict stretches across the political spectrum to include all but the most determined supporters of Field Marshall El Sisi.
All this takes place against the background of the outright banning of Egypt’s largest opposition group, which followed the shooting by the Egyptian army of thousands of Muslim Brotherhood supporters last year.
The British government should call in the Egyptian ambassador and demand that this judgment is withdrawn with immediate effect.
- Mark Serwotka, General Secretary, Public and Commercial Services Union
- Steve Turner, Assistant General Secretary, Unite the Union
- Ken Loach, film director
- Helena Kennedy, QC
- Alaa Mohamed, Chair, British Egyptians 4 Democracy
- Basma Muhammad, Co-ordinator, International Anti-Coup Pro-Democracy Alliance
- Andrew Murray, Chief of Staff, Unite the Union
- John Rees, Co-founder, Stop the War Coalition
- Mohammad Soudan, UK Representative, Freedom and Justice Party
- Louise Christian, human rights lawyer
- Bernard Regan, Chair, Sertuc International Committee
- Caryl Churchill, Playwright
- Peter Oborne, Chief Political Commentator, Daily Telegraph
- Lindsey German, Convenor, Stop the War Coalition
- Carl Arrindell, Head of Current Affairs, Islam Channel
- Paul Mackney, Former General Secretary NATFHE/UCU (education union)
- Chris Nineham, National Secretary, Counterfire
- Steve Bell, Treasurer, Stop the War Coalition
- Kate Hudson
- Cherry Sewell, Officer, Greek Solidarity Campaign