CAIRO (Arab News) – A court in Egypt has sentenced eight foreigners and two Egyptians to death on charges of smuggling into the country over two tons of heroin by sea, according to a judicial source.
Authorities seized the drugs brought in via the Red Sea, worth around 2.5 billion pounds ($159m), in 2019, AFP reported.
Seven Pakistanis and two Egyptians were convicted for having stashed the drugs, which also included nearly 100 kilograms (220 lbs) of crystal methamphetamine, in a hidden storage room aboard a ship, the source added, without giving details on where the shipment originated.
Capital punishment for civilian convicts in Egypt is carried out by hanging.
The ruling can be appealed within two months.
Human rights groups have routinely slammed Egypt’s “significant spike” in recorded executions, which saw a more than threefold rise to 107 last year, from 32 in 2019.
So far, at least 51 men and women have been executed in 2021 alone.
Cases can be appealed before the Court of Cassation, Egypt’s highest court. If this fails, the president of the country then has 14 days to approve or commute the sentence.
Many of those executed as of late have been described by rights groups as “prisoners of conscience”, detained over their opposition to President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi’s government.