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 China Investigates Powerful Former Security Chief

Analysts say move by President Xi is an effort to win more party support, take step toward economic reforms, removing those who would stand in way of change More

South Africa Land Reforms Still Contentious 20 Years Later

Activists argue that the pace of land reform is slow and biased; legal experts question how some proposed reforms would be implemented More

In Vietnam, Religious Freedoms Violated, UN Finds

Beliefs reportedly prompt heavy surveillance, intimidation and travel restrictions 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.
Gazans in Shelled School Sought Shelteri
X
Scott Bobb
July 30, 2014 8:16 PM
Israel's air and ground assault against Hamas-led fighters in Gaza has forced many Palestinians to flee their homes, seeking safety. But safe places are hard to find, as VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jabaliya.
Video

Video Gazans in Shelled School Sought Shelter

Israel's air and ground assault against Hamas-led fighters in Gaza has forced many Palestinians to flee their homes, seeking safety. But safe places are hard to find, as VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jabaliya.
Video

Video Rapid Spread of Ebola in West Africa Prompts Global Alert

Across West Africa, health officials are struggling to keep up with what the World Health Organization describes as the worst ebola outbreak on record. The virus has killed hundreds of people this year. U.S. President Barack Obama and other world leaders are watching the developments closely as they weigh what actions, if any, are needed to help contain the disease.
Video

Video Michelle Obama: Young Africans Need to Embrace Women's Rights

U.S. first lady Michelle Obama urged some of Africa's best and brightest to advocate for women's rights in their home countries. As VOA's Pam Dockins explains, Obama spoke to some 500 participants of the Young African Leaders Initiative, a six-week U.S.-based training and development program.
Video

Video Immigrant Influx on Texas Border Heats Up Political Debate

Immigrants from Central America continue to cross the U.S.-Mexico border in south Texas, seeking asylum in the United States, as officials grapple with ways to deal with the problem and provide shelter for thousands of minors among the illegal border crossers. As VOA's Greg Flakus reports from Houston, the issue is complicated by internal U.S. politics and U.S. relations with the troubled nations that immigrants are fleeing.
Video

Video Study: Latino Students Most Segregated in California

Even though legal school segregation ended in the United States 60 years ago, one study finds segregation still occurs in the U.S. based on income and race. The University of California Los Angeles Civil Rights Project finds that students in California are more segregated by race than ever before, especially Latinos. Elizabeth Lee reports for VOA from Los Angeles.
Video

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video A Summer Camp for All the World

VIDEO: During workshops and social gatherings, the Global Youth Village summer camp encourages young people to cooperate and embrace their differences, while learning to communicate with people from other countries. VOA's Deborah Block has more.
Video

Video From Cantankerous Warlock to Incorruptible Priest, 'Harry Potter' Actor Embraces Diverse Roles

He’s perhaps best known as Mad Eye Moody, the whimsical wizard in the Harry Potter franchise. But character actor Brendan Gleeson's resume includes dozens of films, and he embraces all the characters he inhabits with equal passion. In an interview with VOA’s Penelope Poulou, Gleeson discussed his new drama "Calvary" and his secret to success.

AppleAndroid