Committee of Concerned Scientists: Death Sentence in Absentia of Egyptian Scholar Called Baseless

Committee of Concerned Scientists: Death Sentence in Absentia of Egyptian Scholar Called Baseless

More than 40 academic colleagues of political science professor Emad el-Din Shahin signed an open letter of protest against an Egyptian court’s death sentence, handed down in a mass trial that lacked all elements of due process. CCS joined what appeared to be retaliation for Shahin’s pro-democracy stance.

President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi

Arab Republic of Egypt
c/o Embassy of Egypt to the United States
3521 International Court NW
Washington DC 20008

June 17, 2015

Your Excellency:

We write now in concern for Professor Emad Shahin.

Dr. Emad al-Din Shahin, a professor of political science who has taught at the American University of Cairo, as well as at numerous other American universities, including Notre Dame, Harvard and George Washington University, was sentenced to death in absentia on May 27, 2015. The sentence was delivered after a mass trial of associates and aides of former President Muhammah Morsi. Shahin, who is currently a visiting professor at Georgetown University, has denied the charges, and condemned the “sham trials,” in which death sentences have been handed down on “flimsy or no evidence,” according to him.

We join the numerous academics who have called the sentence “appalling,” according to the June 8, 2015 issue of the Chronicle of Higher Education. The signers of the letter said that Shahin was not guilty of any crime and is being punished for having spoken out for a more democratic and accountable political order in Egypt. We join our colleagues in demanding a fair trial for Professor Shahin and respect for his rights of free expression.

We urge you to investigate this case and to set aside a sentence against a respected Egyptian scholar that was pronounced without the most basic elements of due process as guaranteed by the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to which Egypt is a signatory.


Joel L. Lebowitz, Paul H. Plotz, Walter Reich,
Eugene M. Chudnovsky, Alexander Greer

Co-Chairs, Committee of Concerned Scientists


H.E. Ambassador Mohamed Tawfik

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