For the first time, Egypt’s government has executed an Islamist supporter of the ousted President Mohamed Morsi, carrying out the execution on Saturday. The man, Mahmoud Ramadan, received the death penalty after being convicted of murder related to the political violence following the 2013 military takeover of the government. The death sentence was carried out by hanging after Mr. Ramadan had exhausted all of his appeals.
According to the Interior Ministry, a well-publicized video showed Mr. Ramadan among the attackers seen throwing teenagers from a rooftop water tower to their deaths. The attack took place in the port city of Alexandria on July 5, 2013, two days after the arrest of Mr. Morsi by military officials.
Mr. Ramadan appeared on the video with a black Islamist flag shoved in his back pocket as part of a group of men participating in an attack on a smaller group of young men huddled on top of a water tower. At least two of the young men were thrown off of the water tower, plunging about 20 feet onto the roof below. Mr. Ramadan had confessed to murdering one of the teenagers, Egyptian officials said.
Since Egypt’s current president, Abdel-Fattah el-Sisi, took power, at least nine people have been executed after receiving the death penalty in Egyptian courts. Hundreds of Islamists have been sentenced to death since el-Sisi took power, most convicted of political violence that resulted in death. However, many of the trials have relied on partial or nonexistent evidence and prosecutors and judges have disregarded proper legal processes for the accused.
While supporters of Mr. Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood have been charged and sentenced quickly, supporters of the military and members of the security services accused of participation in the violent clashes are rarely arrested at all. Mr. Ramadan’s lawyers claimed that the trial was tainted, citing irregularities including the imprisonment of one of his lawyers and an improperly recorded confession. Human rights advocates have long complained about the same types of incidents occurring throughout Egypt’s judicial system.