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Stop the biggest mass execution this century

March 27, 2014
tags:#death penalty, #Egypt
A kangaroo court in Egypt just sentenced 528 people to death. This is likely the biggest mass execution ruling this century, but one man can stop the killings.

Egypt’s most important religious figure, Grand Mufti Allam has 10 days to reject the decision. Religious leaders are already condemning the ruling, and as the first Mufti to be elected by his peers, he has a legitimate mandate to be the nation’s moral leader. Let’s create a global plea from people of all religions to provide clemency and block this barbarous ruling.

This was a political show trial -- the military regime is using the firing squad to wipe out the opposition. If the world does not speak up, the consequences for Egypt and the world are beyond dangerous. Sign now to save these lives and stop a spiral of violence -- when one million of us have joined, religious leaders in Egypt will deliver our call for compassion directly to the Mufti.

After the hope of Tahrir Square, where hundreds of thousands took to the streets to overthrow decades of dictatorship, the Egyptian people democratically elected a Muslim Brotherhood government. But last summer the military staged a populist coup, Brotherhood supporters rioted, and then the military declared the party a terrorist organisation and violently cracked down -- 16,000 democracy activists, journalists, and even teenage school girls have been arrested!

The trial was a joke -- on top of charges of rioting and destruction of property, the 528 are all accused of killing one police officer, and defense lawyers were barred from the sentencing session, which lasted less than an hour! But this is not a one off -- the judiciary is repeatedly being used to crackdown on political dissent, while security forces accused of killing hundreds of protesters are rarely held to account. There are real security threats, but as the military authorities' iron fist and intimidation grows, extremism is fuelled.

This is the harshest mass conviction in modern Egyptian history, but what happens next in this case could have repercussions way beyond Egypt. Sign the urgent petition now asking the Grand Mufti not to rubber stamp state-sponsored murder and to provide the ethical leadership Egypt desperately needs.

The world has kept silent as this regime has launched an all out attack against an imperfect but elected government and brought democracy in Egypt to its knees. Global leaders trumpet democracy at every opportunity and strongly condemn anti-democratic plots from Crimea to Caracas. But not in Egypt. Now if the world looks away and allows this cruel mass execution to happen, a dangerous message will resonate across the globe that the world will stand by democracy, except for political Islam. That will empower one small but very dangerous group that can hurt us all: the extremists.

Time and again the Avaaz community has forcefully advocated against brutal injustice and for peaceful, meaningful reconciliation between embittered communities. Right now Egypt’s future hangs in the balance, and a wildly unjust and provocative ruling like the one handed down in Minya could push it over the edge. Let’s bring the people’s voice to this precarious situation and ensure that these 528 lives are saved.

Sign the petition here.