News / Middle East

Kerry, Fahmy Discuss Mass Egyptian Death Sentences

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry meets with Egyptian Foreign Minister Nabil Fahmy at the State Department in Washington, April 29, 2014.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry meets with Egyptian Foreign Minister Nabil Fahmy at the State Department in Washington, April 29, 2014.
Ken Bredemeier
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and his Egyptian counterpart, Nabil Fahmy, met in Washington Tuesday.  They discussed an Egyptian court's decision Monday to sentence 683 supporters of the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood to death for their role in protests last year against the overthrow of former president Mohamed Morsi.

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon voiced his alarm over the death sentences handed down by the Egyptian court.  Amnesty International said the Egyptian judiciary risked becoming what it described as "just another part of the authorities' repressive machinery."

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, as he headed into a meeting with Egyptian Foreign Minister Nabil Fahmy, said Egypt is clearly going through a "very difficult transitional process" in the weeks leading up to next month's presidential election.  The top American diplomat said Egypt's constitution is "a positive step forward," but called the mass death sentences a disturbing development.

"But even as these positive steps have been taken, we all know there have been disturbing decisions within the judicial process.  The court system does have very serious challenges for all of us," said Kerry.

It is the second time a court in Minya, Egypt has handed down mass death sentences after very short judicial hearings, although most of the 529 sentences imposed in March have been commuted to life imprisonment.

Egypt's foreign minister said the country's courts are independent of the government, but "part of what Egypt is all about."

"I can't comment on the content of the decisions themselves, but I am confident that due process is allowed and that when due process is allowed, and that the legal system will ultimately end up with the proper decision in each of these cases.  We will build a democracy based on the rule of law," said Fahmy.

One Middle Eastern affairs analyst, Robert Hazan of Metropolitan State University of Denver, said he is skeptical of the prospects for fairness.  He called the sentences "a serious breach of basic fundamentals, principles of a reasonable judiciary process."

"We don't understand the rationale. We don't understand whether these are reasonable judgments," said Hazan.

The U.S. is considering further aid to Cairo; but, Hazan said that while the U.S. can condemn the sentences occurring inside one of its staunchest allies in the Middle East, it cannot let anything happen "that would push Egypt into anarchy and chaos."

You May Like

Video Video Claims to Show Shi'ite Forces in Iraq Executing Sunni Boy

While not yet independently confirmed, brutal killing already has gotten attention of Islamic State followers on social media More

After Six Years, Little Change for Niger Delta's Former Militants

Nigerians who laid down arms in exchange for government amnesty subsidies fear program may end with upcoming presidential elections More

Vietnam Pushes for More Educated Drivers to Curb Road Deaths

Transportation officials hope that making a greater effort to get drivers to learn the rules of the road will reduce fatal crashes More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: chukwuemeka ukorl from: lagos nigeria
April 30, 2014 3:22 AM
I said whatever the terms of the judgement they will not be sentence to death enmass. Just give them prison sentences preferable life sentences instead of execution.no one should go against my order.

by: ali baba from: new york
April 29, 2014 6:33 PM
The judge give sentence based on evidence. Muslim brotherhood committed a crime. they believe that they are above the law. during morsi they were acting as a bully. they burn churches. the kill police office. I did not find any reason that Kerry intervene with that matter. the justice has to be served

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Video Claims to Show Shia Forces in Iraq Executing Sunni Boyi
X
Jeff Seldin
March 05, 2015 2:36 AM
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 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 African Americans Recall 1960's Fight For Voting Rights

U.S. President Barack Obama and thousands of people will gather in the small southern U.S. city of Selma, Alabama, Saturday, March 7th to commemorate the 50th anniversary of a historic voting rights march that became known as “Bloody Sunday." VOA’s Chris Simkins traveled to Alabama and introduces us to some of the foot soldiers of the voting rights struggles of the 1960’s.
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 Cyber War Rages Between Iran, US

A newly published report indicates Iran and the United States have increased their cyber attacks on each other, even as their top diplomats are working toward an agreement to guarantee Iran does not develop a nuclear weapon and to free Iran from international sanctions. The development is part of a growing global trend. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
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