Egypt – Written Question

On 6th May 2014, the Rt Revd Christopher Cocksworth, Bishop of Coventry, recieved an answer to a written question on the current situation in Egypt.

The Lord Bishop of Coventry: To ask Her Majesty’s Government what is their assessment of the independence of the judiciary in Egypt.

13.10 Bishop of CoventryThe Senior Minister of State, Department for Communities and Local Government & Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Baroness Warsi): The new Egyptian constitution, adopted in January 2014, states that the judicial system is independent, and allows the judiciary its own budget, and to appoint the Prosecutor General and members of the Supreme Constitutional Court. We do, however, have some concerns over recent judicial decisions, including the sentencing to death of 529 people in Minya on 24 March. Reports that many of the defendants were tried in their absence and may not have been represented properly are deeply troubling. We have been urging the Egyptian authorities to ensure that the rights of defendants are fully respected in all cases.