3 Egyptians sentenced to death

2009-12-28 19:01

Ismailia - An Egyptian court sentenced three men to death on Monday after they were convicted of rape and armed robbery.

The court, in the Suez Canal city of Ismailia, found the three men guilty of kidnapping a woman at knifepoint then raping and robbing her, Judge Fathi Ezzat said.

The woman eventually escaped the ordeal by jumping from a second floor window.

The convicted men appeared stunned when the judge read out the verdict, which has yet to be ratified by Egypt's mufti, the government's interpreter of Islamic law. The mufti rarely contradicts a court sentence.

Rights groups have criticised Egypt over a spike in death sentences in 2009.

In June alone, Egyptian courts sentenced 75 people to death, compared with 86 death sentences throughout 2008, according to the Cairo-based Arab Centre for the Independence of the Judiciary and Legal Profession

The sentences are carried out by hanging.