Egypt’s judicial system spiraling out of control

Global Public Square

By Salil Shetty, Special to CNN

Editor’s note: Salil Shetty is Amnesty International’s secretary general. The views expressed are his own.

Egypt’s criminal justice system was in the spotlight again after a court agreed to hand down the largest number of death sentences in modern memory. But this was not the work of a rogue judge, as some have suggested. Instead, the rulings were simply the latest in a series of incidents that point to a judicial system that is spiraling out of control.

In the space of a few short months, courts have made ready to sentence hundreds of people to death, jailed leading activists and protestors, including young women for protesting peacefully, and put journalists on trial for merely doing their job.

The courts have also hammered independent civil society. Last week, a court ruling effectively banned the April 6 Youth Movement, the activist group that…

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