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New Artifacts Found in Cairo, Egypt: Archaeologists

Egypt frequently announces archaeological discoveries

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This undated photo released by the Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities, shows part of a stone slab that was discovered at a dig in eastern Cairo's Matariya neighborhood, Egypt. The Antiquities Ministry said on Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2018, that archeologists working at the dig have found several fragments of stone slabs with inscriptions dating back up to 4,000 years. Some of the fragments date back to the 12th and the 20th Dynasties and the Third Intermediate Period while others are more recent. VOA

Egypt says archeologists working at a dig in Cairo have found several fragments of stone slabs with inscriptions dating back up to 4,000 years.

The Antiquities Ministry said on Tuesday that the artifacts were the latest finds in eastern Cairo’s Matariya neighborhood.

Some of the fragments date back to the 12th and the 20th Dynasties and the Third Intermediate Period while others are more recent.

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A statue workers say depicts Pharaoh Ramses II who ruled Egypt over 3,000 years ago was unearthed on Thursday in the Matariya area in Cairo, Egypt, March 9, 2017. (VOA)

Egyptologist Dietrich Raue, the head of the mission, says one inscription points to Atum, an important and frequently mentioned god, as being responsible for the flooding of the Nile River in the Late Period, from 664-332 B.C.

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Egypt frequently announces archaeological discoveries, hoping this will spur interest in its ancient treasures and revive tourism, which was hit hard by political turmoil following the 2011 uprising. (VOA)

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U.N. Urges Egypt To Halt All Executions Based On Confessions Obtained Against Torture

“There is significant cause for concern that due process and fair trial guarantees may not have been followed in some or all of these cases, and that the very serious allegations concerning the use of torture were not properly investigated,” Colville said.

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Family members of those convicted and executed for the killing of public prosecutor Hisham Barakat gather at Zynhom morgue in Cairo, Egypt, Feb. 20, 2019, as they wait for their bodies to be released. VOA

The U.N. Human Rights Office is urging Egypt to halt all executions and to conduct investigations into all allegations that people are subjected to the death penalty based on confessions obtained under torture.

Egypt has executed 15 people in February and the U.N. Human Rights Office notes the month is not yet over. The agency reports nine people were executed this week in a case related to the killing of Egypt’s General Prosecutor, Hisham Barakat.

Regarding six other killings earlier this month, it says three men were convicted of assassinating a police officer and three others in connection with the murder of the son of a judge.

Human rights office spokesman Rupert Colville said in all cases the defendants have told the court they were subjected to torture to make them confess to the crimes of which they were accused.

FILE - A defendant is seen caged in a courtroom in Torah prison, southern Cairo, Egypt, Aug. 22, 2015.
A defendant is seen caged in a courtroom in Torah prison, southern Cairo, Egypt, Aug. 22, 2015. VOA

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In June 2017, the U.N. Committee against Torture completed a four-year confidential inquiry and concluded that torture is “practiced systematically” in Egypt. Colville told VOA the recent allegations of torture, in almost all of these cases, come against this well-established backdrop that torture is endemic in Egypt.

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“If torture was used to make a confession a considerable part of the prosecution’s case, then that should not be admitted in court. That confession produced under torture should not be admissible. And when these allegations have been brought up by the defense lawyers and so on, our belief is they are not being taken seriously enough by the courts,” he said.

Colville said a number of individuals convicted under similar circumstances in Egypt have exhausted all legal proceedings. He says they currently are on death row at imminent risk of execution. (VOA)