Visiting DU scholar Emad Shahin sentenced to death in Egypt

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Photo: Emad Shahin University Denver Visiting Scholar
Emad Shahin stands outside of CPR's studios.

Emad Shahin was a respected political scientist and professor of public policy at the American University in Cairo. He held that position until January of last year, when he fled Egypt for fear of being targeted by the military regime. He was a vocal critic of what he calls a coup -- the 2013 ouster of the country's first democratically-elected president, Mohamed Morsi. Gen. Abdel Fattah el-Sisi now leads Egypt.

Shahin was one of more than 100 individuals -- including Morsi -- to be sentenced to death by an Egyptian court earlier this month. Shahin is currently a visiting professor of political science at Georgetown University, but was in Denver last week as a visiting scholar with the Center for Middle East Studies at the University of Denver. He spoke with CPR's Andrea Dukakis.

Emad Shahin on the charges brought against him:

"I describe them as fabricated and sham charges, were of grand espionage... Most of these charges -- all of these charges -- have not been specified in terms of specific actions or crimes I've committed and [are] without any substantive evidence."

On if he will appeal:

"Under these circumstances, where there is no respect for due process and the minimum requirements of justice, I think I'd be doomed if I did this. This is like suicide. Either the sentence will be confirmed or it will be commuted to a lesser sentence [like] life in prison, or 15 years in prison. So it's a lose-lose situation."

On why he was included in the recent round of death sentences:

"I was an outspoken critic of the coup itself. I called that coup a coup. The United States refused to call this a coup - so I called it a military coup, and a bloody one from day one, because of the repressive measures they took against peaceful protestors. And since then, there have been a lot of irregularities and extra legal measures that have been taken. So this is exactly what I'm trying to point out... It's indeed a reign of terror that they have been engulfing Egypt in."