||<p>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.</p>