World Council of Churches

A worldwide fellowship of churches seeking unity, a common witness and Christian service

You are here: Home / Resources / Documents / WCC general secretary / Statements / Concern over Egypt court decision of death sentence for 529 people

Concern over Egypt court decision of death sentence for 529 people

WCC general secretary Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit expressing concern over court decision in Egypt, where around 529 people have been sentenced to death.

28 March 2014

The World Council of Churches (WCC) is deeply worried by the recent shocking news from Egypt, where it is reported that a court in Minya (Upper Egypt) has sentenced 529 people to death in what seems to have been the shortest, largest and most drastic trial in the modern history of Egypt.

While being hopeful that the judgment will be overturned on the first appeal, the WCC remains concerned over the reversal of the recent signs of hope which had suggested that the vibrant Egyptian society was progressing towards respect of human dignity and the rule of law.

Many Egyptian human rights organizations and the United Nations Human Rights Commissioner Navi Pillay, have condemned the verdict of mass trial as a “breach of international human rights law”. The WCC also believes that every individual has a right to a fair trial and that States are under the obligation to ensure that all guarantees of due process are respected.

We sincerely hope that Egypt will go forward in a process that respects basic human rights and serves the building of democracy and mutual trust in the country. We believe that only a peaceful and inclusive process, in which all political parties and civil society organizations and actors work together to facilitate peace building through a national process of reconciliation and healing, will lead the country to national unity and to justice and peace.

WCC general secretary
Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit