Statement by Prof. Emad Shahin on his death sentence
May 16, 2015
In another travesty of justice, an Egyptian court today issued a mass death sentence against more than 120 defendants in two cases known as the “Grand Espionage” and “Prisons Break.” I was falsely charged in the first case and I received the death sentence in absentia pending referral to the mufti. I repeat my absolute rejection of the charges against me and note that I am hardly the only victim of injustice in this case. Furthermore, I condemn the sham trials engulfing Egypt since July 2013 where wholesale death sentences on flimsy or no evidence have been the mark of the current military regime.
In fact, these sentences are yet another manifestation of the deeply troubling way the Egyptian judiciary has been used as a tool to settle political disagreements by the harshest and most repressive means possible. Due process, regard for evidence, and minimum standard of justice have been tossed aside in favor of draconian injustice. Ironically, two defendants sentenced to death today had already been dead and one has been in prison for the past 19 years. Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, and many other human rights organizations have condemned the way the Egyptian Judiciary has been used to settle political scores.
The military-backed regime has been targeting peaceful opponents, young protesters, students, journalists and academics. It is currently seeking to reconstitute the security state and intimidate all opponents. For over two years, the army and security agencies have staged a counter-revolution against all those associated with January 25th Revolution, combatting the aspirations of Egyptians for building a free and democratic society. Agencies that are supposed to serve the people are instead oppressing them.
As an independent academic and scholar, I will continue to uphold and defend democratic values, human rights and national reconciliation. These are the exact values that Egypt needs at the moment to chart a peaceful course in the future. I believe this is the essence of why I was targeted and what my case is all about.
Emad Shahin, Ph.D.
Professor of Public Policy, The American University in Cairo
Visiting Professor, School of Foreign Service, Georgetown University
Distinguished Visiting Scholar, Columbia University (2014-2015)
Public Policy Scholar, Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars (2014)
Henry R. Luce Associate Professor, University of Notre Dame (2009-2012)
Visiting Associate Professor, Harvard University (2006-2009)
Faculty Affiliate, Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University, Belfer Center (2007-2008)
Editor in Chief, The Oxford Encyclopedia of Islam and Politics
Member of the Academic Advisory Board, Center for Christian-Muslim Understanding, Georgetown University
Member of the Editorial Advisory Board, Oxford Research Directions (Since 2011)
Advisory editor, The Oxford Encyclopedia of the Islamic World (Oxford University Press, 2009)
Member of the Academic Board, Al-Hadara Center, Cairo, Egypt
Member of Alexandria Library Scientific Board for the Production of “Selections of Modern Islamic Heritage” (Since 2012)
Foreign Reference Member, University of Oslo (since 2007)
Member of the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council (2008)