Egypt executes 9 people over assassination of chief prosecutor

Rights groups said some of accused had been forcibly detained and tortured to confess during their trial. The human rights situation in Egypt has rapidly deteriorated under President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi.

Nine suspected Muslim Brotherhood members convicted for the 2015 assassination of Egypt's top prosecutor have been executed, security sources said Wednesday.

The nine were among 28 who were sentenced to death in 2017 for the central Cairo bombing that killed chief prosecutor Hisham Barakat.

Read more: El-Sissi: Egypt's new strongman 

He was the highest profile figure killed by Islamist militants since the military in 2013 overthrew democratically elected President Mohammed Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood.

Egypt's highest appeals court upheld the death sentences against the nine accused in November.

Amnesty International earlier in the week had called on the government to halt the executions.

"Some of the defendants said they were forcibly disappeared and tortured to confessing to the crime" during their trial, Amnesty said. "Executing prisoners or convicting people based on confessions extracted through torture is not justice."

President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi has implemented a severe security crackdown on the Muslim Brotherhood and Islamist militants since the ouster of Morsi.

The coup helped fuel a deadly insurgency in the country.

Egypt's deadliest terror attacks

1997 Luxor massacre

Sixty-two tourists were killed at Egypt's Deir el-Bahri archaeological site in Luxor. Six assailants, thought to have been linked to al-Qaida, disguised themselves as members of the security forces and descended on the temple armed with automatic machine guns and knives. Egyptian tourist police and military forces eventually stopped the attackers, who were either killed or committed suicide.

Egypt's deadliest terror attacks

2004 Sinai bombings

A series of bomb attacks targeting tourists in Egypt's Sinai Peninsula killed 34 people and injured 171. Most of the casualties were killed after a truck drove into the lobby of the Taba Hilton. Two more bombs went off at campsites some 50 kilometers away, killing a handful of people. Roughly half the casualties were foreigners, including 12 Israelis.

Egypt's deadliest terror attacks

2005 Sharm el-Sheikh attacks

The attack in the Egyptian resort city of Sharm el-Sheikh was carried out on Egypt's Revolution Day and for a decade remained the worst Islamist attack in Egypt's history. A series of bombs planted close to bars and restaurants, as well as by a hotel, killed 88 people and injured 150. The majority of victims were locals, although a number of tourists also died, including 11 British nationals.

Egypt's deadliest terror attacks

2006 Dahab bombings

The attack on the the Egyptian resort city of Dahab marked the third consecutive year that tourist resorts had been targeted. A series of blasts in a restaurant, a café and a market killed at least 23 people, most of whom were local, and wounded around 80. Egyptian officials maintain that the attacks were carried out by the Islamist cell known as Jama'at al-Tawhid wal-Jihad, a forerunner of "IS."

Egypt's deadliest terror attacks

2015 Metrojet Flight 9268 disaster

All 224 mostly Russian passengers were killed when Metrojet Flight 9268 suddenly dropped out of the sky over the Egypt's Sinai peninsula, shortly after having taken off from Sharm el-Sheikh international airport. Authorities agree that it appeared a bomb had been snuck on board. The so-called "Islamic State" jihadi group claimed responsibility for the attack.

Egypt's deadliest terror attacks

2016 Attacks on Egypt's Coptic Christian minorities

While Egypt's Coptic Christians have for decades been targeted by Islamists, deadly attacks on Coptic churches have increased dramatically in recent months. At least 102 Egyptian Christians have been killed in four separate attacks since December 2016.

Egypt's deadliest terror attacks

2017 Coptic church and Al-Rawda mosque bombings

On April 9, 2017, the Coptic church faith followers encountered devastating twin blasts in Tanta and Alexandria as they celebrated Palm Sunday, killing 28 and 17 people respectively. On November 24, 2017, a bomb went off outside of Al-Rawda mosque in the city of Al-Arish in the northern Sinai Peninsula, which claimed the lives of more than 300 people and injured 109 others.

cw/aw (AP, dpa, Reuters)

Related Subjects

Every day, DW's editors send out a selection of the day's hard news and quality feature journalism. Sign up for the newsletter here.