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Egypt trial: has justice been done?

Hundreds of people are sentenced to death in a case condemned as a violation of human rights.

Last updated: 25 Mar 2014 20:42
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Mass trials in Egypt have drawn widespread condemnation. Hundreds of Egyptians have been sentenced to death for their role in the killing of a policeman.

It is the largest mass death sentence anywhere in the world, in recent years. 

A total of 1,200 people were collectively charged with murder following rioting in August. 529 defendants were sentenced to death on Monday. The trial of a further 682 people was adjourned on Tuesday.

A statement by Human Rights Watch said: "It’s shocking even amid Egypt’s deep political repression that a court has sentenced people to death without giving them any meaningful opportunity to defend themselves."

Egypt has come under increased pressure for its record on human rights in recent months - accused of a violent crackdown on political dissent.

So has justice been done in Egypt? Or are the trials part of a wider campaign to silence government critics.

Presenter: Jane Dutton

Guests: Yehia Ghanem - a newspaper editor in exile, who was sentenced to two years in prison in Egypt for working with a foreign non-governmental organisation

Nicholas Piachaud - North Africa campaigner for Amnesty International

Frank Wisner - a former US ambassador to Egypt

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Source:
Al Jazeera
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