WASHINGTON, May 18, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Center for the Study of Islam and Democracy (CSID) condemns in the strongest possible terms the death sentences meted out today against its respected board member and world renowned scholar Dr. Emad Shahin, along with elected Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi and over one hundred twenty others convicted for their peaceful opposition to the July 2013 coup, for their political views, or for their roles in the 2011 revolution. This manipulation of the justice system by mass incarceration and arbitrary and careless pronouncement of death sentences to silence political dissent and punish opposition to the current regime is happening at a pace and on a scale rarely, if ever, seen in human history. This miscarriage of justice further invites ridicule on account of its arbitrary nature; according to a statement issued today by our colleague Emad Shahin, "Ironically, two defendants sentenced to death today [are] already ... dead and one has been in prison for the past 19 years."
Dr. Emad Shahin is a renowned and respected scholar, board member at CSID, and professor with positions at esteemed universities around the world, including Georgetown, Harvard, and the American University in Cairo. His long commitment to the struggle for democracy, human rights, and national reconciliation in Egypt is a glowing and honorable record that speaks volumes.
CSID joins other international human rights organizations, such as Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch, in condemning this shameful affront to justice and human decency and calls on Egyptian authorities to overturn these convictions and set Egypt back on a course towards justice, freedom, and democracy. Under the guise of fighting terrorism, Egypt has elected instead to intimidate political dissenters, members of Egypt's political elite, and the general citizenry in a cynical quest to maintain power. By pursuing this policy, Egypt actually increases its domestic terrorist threat by offering no legal outlet for legal political dissent and change. Peaceful protesters, academics, students, journalists, and members of over 400 recently banned civil society organizations have been subject to this assault by the current regime. Young people are increasingly lamenting the apparent futility of peaceful protest; the risk that some might abandon peaceful dissent and turn to violence is real. Anyone associated with the 2011 revolution, as well as the tens of millions who voted for opposing political parties in the free and fair elections following the revolution, are now subject to these draconian policies. It is out of deep respect for Egyptians and Egypt's great civilization and heritage that CSID calls on all Egyptians to seek to right the Egyptian ship of state in a peaceful manner and calls on the international community to endeavor to support democracy, peace, and justice in Egypt.
Name: Dr. William Lawrence
Title: Director of MENA Programs at CSID
Email address: email@example.com
CSID is a Washington DC-based think tank and advocacy non-profit organization that seeks to promote freedom, democracy, and human rights in the Arab and Islamic World, and seeks to assist democratic transitions in the countries of the Arab Spring by promoting national dialogue and national unity between moderate Islamists and secularists and modern tolerant, and a progressive interpretation of Islam for the 21st century.
SOURCE Center for the Study of Islam and Democracy