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EGYPT: 230 DEATH SENTENCES IN SIX MONTHS

June 24, 2009: Egyptian courts have handed down unprecedented numbers of death sentences in recent months, most of them for violent crime. "Two hundred and thirty death sentences in six months", read the headline of independent daily Al- Dustour. "Fifty in the last week alone".
Azza Quraim, social science professor at the Cairo-based National Centre for Social and Criminal Research said "the number of death sentences handed down by the judiciary in recent weeks is without precedent."
"So many death sentences have been handed down by the courts recently that the Grand Mufti has had little time to concentrate on his other responsibilities," Alaa Eddin Al-Kifafi, psychology professor at Cairo University told IPS.
Local experts partially attribute the sharp spike in executions to a recent surge in violent crime.
"Incidents of violent crime have increased markedly in recent months and years," Quraim said. "Extreme violence, generally unknown in Egyptian society before, appears to be becoming a behavioural norm."
"For the average citizen, there are fewer job opportunities than ever, which has led to a widespread sense of hopelessness and despair," said Al-Kifafi. "And psychologically speaking, the link between feelings of despair and violent behaviour is well known and thoroughly documented.
"The wave of recent death penalties appears to be a heavy-handed attempt by the state to deter citizens from committing violent crimes," Al-Kifafi added.
"What's more, the glacial pace of Egypt's legal system, coupled with the frequent lack of implementation of court verdicts, has made the public lose faith in the judiciary and begin taking their perceived rights by force," she added.
But according to Quraim, the state's hasty recourse to capital punishment is a misguided - and socially destructive - approach to the dilemma, and represents "its own kind of mass murder."
"By issuing harsh verdicts such as the death penalty, judicial authorities have begun to practice their own kind of violence against society," Quraim added. (Sources: IPS, 16/07/2009)

SUDAN: TWO MEN SENTENCED TO DEATH FOR MURDER
BELARUS: MAN SENTENCED TO DEATH FOR MURDERING SIX OLD WOMEN IN BREST REGION
SAUDI ARABIA: MAN BEHEADED FOR MURDERING HIS WIFE
ITALY-SYRIA: AL MOLKY EXPULSION, “THEY ARE SENDING ME TO MY DEATH”
CHINA: FOUR MORE TRAFFICKERS EXECUTED ON INTERNATIONAL ANTI-DRUG DAY
EGYPT: TWO MEN SENTENCED TO DEATH FOR MURDER
CHINA: 8 EXECUTED IN ANTI-DRUG BATTLE
SAUDI ARABIA: MAN BEHEADED FOR KIDNAPPING, RAPING BOY
KAZAKHSTAN: PARLIAMENT PASSED AMENDMENTS TO LAW ON CAPITAL PUNISHMENT
SUDAN TO EXECUTE ISLAMISTS FOR KILLING US ENVOY
SAUDI ARABIA: MAN BEHEADED FOR MURDER
TOGO ABOLISHES THE DEATH PENALTY
BELARUS: DEATH PENALTY BAN UNEXPECTED AS CONDITION FOR RESTORING SPECIAL GUEST STATUS
SAUDI ARABIA: TWO SAUDIS EXECUTED FOR RAPING BOY, MURDER
ZAMBIA: THREE BROTHERS TO HANG FOR KILLING DAD
IRAN: SIX MEN EXECUTED FOR DRUG TRAFFICKING, MURDER
IRAN: PARLIAMENT PLANS END TO SOME PUNISHMENTS
VIETNAM. PARLIAMENT CUTS LIST OF DEATH PENALTY CRIMES
IRAN: PROSECUTOR WARNS OF DEATH PENALTY FOR VIOLENCE
HOC: EUROPE CONDESCENDINGLY ALLOWS IRANIAN REGIME’S BRUTALITY
CHINA: BEIJING TO ADOPT LETHAL INJECTION
PAKISTAN: ONE GETS DEATH PENALTY
HANDS OFF CAIN: POSITIVE INITIATIVE IN THE DRC
EGYPT: 24 DEATH SENTENCES CONFIRMED
DEATH PENALTY: DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO STARTS TOWARDS ABOLITION WITH A LEGAL MORATORIUM ON EXECUTIONS
EU "DISTURBED" BY IRAQ EXECUTIONS, CALLS FOR FREEZE
SAUDI ARABIA: MAN EXECUTED FOR KILLING NEPHEW
SOMALIA: AL SHABAAB EXECUTES A MAN IN BAIDOA
SUDAN: MORE DARFUR REBELS SENTENCED TO DEATH
COUNCIL OF EUROPE: BELARUS URGED TO ABOLISH DEATH PENALTY

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