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AI slams Egypt for bypassing justice

30 April 2010 0:15

Amnesty International has condemned sentences handed by Egypt to 26 men with alleged ties to Lebanon’s Hezbollah resistance movement, calling for a retrial.

“These men should be retried by an ordinary court which gives them a chance of getting a fair trial,” said the London-based rights group, referring to the 26, who were detained between 2008 and 2009.

Amnesty International says the convictions were based upon confessions exerted through torture.

“Bypassing justice by referring sensitive cases to emergency courts undermines the criminal justice system and encourages human rights abuses,” the rights group said.

Egypt enforced an emergency law following the assassination of former President Anwar Sadat in 1981 that allows for indefinite detention of detainees.

Moreover, the courts set up under the emergency law deny the detainees the right of appeal.

Hezbollah has also dismissed the convictions and has described them as a politically-motivated campaign against the movement.

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