News / Middle East

Egyptian Court Upholds Mass Death Sentences

FILE - Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood's general guide , Mohamed Badie at the trial of Brotherhood members in February, 2014 near Cairo's Turah prison.
FILE - Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood's general guide , Mohamed Badie at the trial of Brotherhood members in February, 2014 near Cairo's Turah prison.
Edward Yeranian
An Egyptian court confirmed death sentences for 183 people Saturday, in a case involving rioting last August in the town of Minya, south of Cairo. Convictions against 496 others were thrown out, while four were given life sentences. Lawyers for those condemned to death say that they will appeal.  

The ruling by Judge Saeed Youssef drew the ire of many human rights activists, as well as criticism from the four corners of the globe. Despite the 183 death sentences, it was not clear who, if anyone, would actually be put to death.

The case drew international media attention because many of the sentences appeared to be arbitrary. Just one police officer died in the clashes around which the trial revolved. Mohamed Badie, the Supreme Guide of Egypt's now outlawed Muslim Brotherhood group, had his death sentence confirmed for inciting the crowd to violence.

Attorneys for those condemned say that they plan to appeal, and many death sentences in Egypt historically have ultimately been commuted. In a landmark case involving onetime Muslim Brotherhood leader Hassan Hodeibi, a death sentence was commuted to life in prison. Hodeibi was eventually released.

Relatives of those condemned screamed and wailed Saturday near the courthouse, after learning of the judge's decision to uphold 183 of the death sentences. Relatives of the close to 500 other men who were acquitted, however, appeared to be relieved.

One man outside the courthouse said that he was not surprised by the verdict, since “the trial was entirely a political matter.” Another appeared to be pleased by the verdict, insisting that “justice was carried out.”

Al-Arabiya TV reported that a heavy police and army escort surrounded Judge Youssef as he left the courthouse. A report in a Cairo newspaper several weeks ago indicated that the judge was being “shunned” by his neighbors and that the town council had cut power to his house.

Publisher Hisham Kassem said that Judge Youssef had brought ridicule to Egypt with his unfair and arbitrary rulings and that he should be removed from the case.

"Due process was not observed during any of these trials where mass death sentences were shelled out and it's continuing," said Kassem. "Now, obviously there is something seriously wrong. This is not a minor error or so. Death sentences do not come en masse. So, it is time that there is an administrative intervention from the ministry of justice to put an end to this. It is becoming an international farce."

The original trial, in which 683 people were sentenced to death simultaneously, took place in April. The initial sentences were given to Egypt's Grand Mufti, its top Muslim religious leader, for final review. Saturday's verdict was handed down with the Mufti's approval.

You May Like

Republican Majority in Congress Off to Rough Start

Standoff over Homeland Security funding exposes philosophical, tactical problems within party More

Pakistan Blocks Baloch Activist from US Trip

Human Rights Commission of Pakistan slams Islamabad officials for stopping people from leaving country to attend human rights conference More

Video Muslims Long Thrived in North Carolina Before Students Killed

Idyll shattered February 10, when three Muslim university students living in Chapel Hill were gunned down by a neighbor More

ILO: Women Still Losing Out in Global Work Place

International Labor Organization says women are marginally better off now than they were 20 years ago More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: WildWilli from: USA
June 21, 2014 7:15 PM
This is nothing more than Hitler's destruction of the Jews all over again.
In Response

by: 1worldnow from: Earth
June 21, 2014 11:21 PM
What Jews are you talking about???? Hitler????? That's the best analogy you can come up with. This is Muslims killing Muslims, I thought you would be pleased with that? You aren't the only one invoking Hitler's name. What is going on with this? So many of you so called commentators are mentioning Hitler. Even mentioning his name once is more than he deserves!!!! Keep it up, the more you idiots bring up Hitler, the more people WILL be interested in who he was, and the evil he brought upon this world (not just the to the JEWS!!!!). Hitler is DEAD, let his legacy die as well!!! Yep, history does repeat itself.............just keep on bringing up his name...........maybe it will! schmuck!

by: Andrei Bilderburger from: USA
June 21, 2014 4:23 PM
WIthout offering any commentary on the propriety of the proceedings (since the media doesn't seem to want to report any details), I'll simply point out that to the extent the verdicts are political it would be wise to have these sentences all turn into life without parole. After all, executed political prisoners are usually viewed as martyrs, and motivate their cohorts. Imprisoned ones are usually forgotten.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Muslims Long Thrived in N Carolina Before Slaying of 3 Studentsi
X
Jerome Socolovsky
March 05, 2015 9:04 PM
The killings of three Muslim students in North Carolina early last month came as Muslims across the United States have felt under siege, partly as a result of terrorist attacks being committed internationally in the name of their faith. But Muslims have long thrived in university cities in this part of the American South. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Muslims Long Thrived in N Carolina Before Slaying of 3 Students

The killings of three Muslim students in North Carolina early last month came as Muslims across the United States have felt under siege, partly as a result of terrorist attacks being committed internationally in the name of their faith. But Muslims have long thrived in university cities in this part of the American South. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Fuel Shortages in Nigeria Threaten Election Campaigns

Nigeria is suffering a gas shortage as the falling oil price has affected the country’s ability to import and distribute refined fuels. Coming just weeks before scheduled March 28 elections, the shortage could have a big impact on the campaign, as Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA.
Video

Video Report: Human Rights in Annexed Crimea Deteriorating

A new report by Freedom House and the Atlantic Council of the United States says the human rights situation in Crimea has deteriorated since the peninsula was annexed by Russia in March of last year. The report says the new authorities in Crimea are discriminating against minorities, suppressing freedom of expression, and forcing residents to assume Russian citizenship or leave. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video 50 Years Later African-Americans See New Voting Rights Battles Ahead

Thousands of people will gather to mark the 50th anniversary of a historic civil rights march on March 7th in Selma, Alabama. In 1965, dozens of people were seriously injured during the event known as “Bloody Sunday,” after police attacked African-American demonstrators demanding voting rights. VOA’s Chris Simkins introduces us to some civil rights pioneers who are still fighting for voting rights in Alabama more than 50 years later.
Video

Video Craft Brewers Taking Hold in US Beer Market

Since the 1950’s, the U.S. beer industry has been dominated by a handful of huge breweries. But in recent years, the rapid rise of small craft breweries has changed the American market and, arguably, the way people drink beer. VOA’s Jeff Custer reports.
Video

Video Video Claims to Show Shia Forces in Iraq Executing Sunni Boy

A graphic mobile phone video is spreading on the Internet, claiming to show Iraqi forces or Shia militia executing a handcuffed Sunni boy. Experts have yet to verify the video, but already Islamic State followers are publicizing it across social media, playing on deep-rooted sectarian fears. VOA’s Jeff Seldin reports.
Video

Video Ukrainian Authorities Struggle to Secure a Divided Mariupol

Since last month's cease-fire went into effect, shelling around the port city of Mariupol has decreased, but it is thought pro-Russian separatists remain poised to attack. For the city’s authorities, a major challenge is gaining the trust of residents, while at the same time rooting out informants who are passing sensitive information to the rebels. Patrick Wells reports for VOA.
Video

Video Volunteer Gauge-Watchers Help Fine-Tune Weather Science

An observation system called CoCoRaHS is working to improve weather science, thanks to thousands of volunteers across the country who measure precipitation in their own backyards, then share their data through the Internet. VOA's Shelley Schlender reports.
Video

Video NASA Spacecraft Approaches a Dwarf Planet

NASA’s Dawn spacecraft will make history on Friday, March 6, when it becomes the first man-made object to orbit a dwarf planet named Ceres. It is located in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter, almost 500 million kilometers from Earth. Among other objectives, Dawn will try to examine two mysterious bright white spots detected on the planet’s surface. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Muslims Radicalized Online

Young Muslims are being radicalized ‘in their bedrooms’ through direct contact with Islamic State or ISIL fighters via the Internet, according to terror experts. There are growing concerns that authorities and Internet providers are not doing enough to counter online extremism - which analysts say is spread by a prolific network of online supporters around the world. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Positive Messaging Transforms Ethiopia's Image

Ethiopia was once known for famine and droughts. Now, headlines more often point to its fast-growing economy and its emergence as a regional peacemaker. How has Addis Ababa changed the narrative? VOA's Marthe van der Wolf reports.
Video

Video Answers Elude Families of MH370 Passengers

For the families on board Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, an airline official’s statement nearly one year ago that the plane had lost contact with air traffic control at 2:40 AM is the only thing that remains confirmed. William Ide reports.

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More