Egypt: Authorities hang 15 jihadists in country's largest mass execution
27 Dec 2017
Egypt has executed 15 prisoners convicted for a 2013 attack on security forces in Sinai.
This is the largest execution carried out by Egypt since it hanged six convicted jihadists in 2015.
Moreover, this comes as ISIS-affiliated fighters step up attacks in the restive Sinai region.
The execution was carried out in two jails where the convicts were being held.
Why were they convicted?
The men were convicted by a military court for participating in an attack against security forces in the restive Sinai region in 2013, killing several soldiers. The attack was believed to be carried out on behalf of the Egyptian branch of ISIS.
ISIS-affiliated groups step up attacks in the Sinai peninsula
ISIS-affiliated fighters have frequently been carrying out attacks in Sinai inflicting widespread casualties among the Egyptian military and civilians.
A recent attack on a mosque in Northern Sinai claimed at least 300 lives and is believed to be carried out by ISIS.
In December 2017, ISIS targeted a helicopter with an anti-tank missile as Egypt's defense and interior ministers were visiting North Sinai.
How has Egypt dealt with rising extremism?
Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi has reportedly ordered security forces to brutally crush the jihadist campaign. Moreover, hundreds of death sentences have been awarded to jihadists and dissenters since Sisi ascended to power in 2013.
Rise in executions in Egypt attracts criticism
According to Cornell University's Death Penalty Worldwide project, since Sisi ascended to power in 2013, the number of executions have recorded a steady increase.
"These executions are a flagrant breach of international law. Trials in Egypt routinely fail to meet basic fair trial standards, especially in mass trials and military tribunals," states Maya Foa, Director of Reprieve, an international human rights organization.
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