News / Middle East

Egypt Sentences 529 Morsi Supporters to Death

Elizabeth Arrott
In what is being called the biggest capital punishment verdict by Egypt's judiciary, 529 supporters of ousted President Mohamed Morsi have been sentenced to death.

The condemned were convicted of killing a policeman, attacking others and destroying property.
 
The sentencing, believed to be the biggest mass death dentencing in history, came after just two court sessions and before the defendants lawyers say they were permitted to make their case.

The majority was condemned in absentia, with fewer than 200 of those on trial in court, 16 suspects were acquitted.

An appeal is permitted, and given the rushed circumstances of the trial, human rights and legal experts believe the verdict is unlikely to stand.

Even members of the government-linked National Council for Human Rights condemned the verdict. Member Nasser Amin wrote on Twitter the court ruling “will be overturned as soon as the defendants demand a retrial.”

Other legal rights advocates described it as a “disaster” and a “scandal.”

Minya, Egypt.Minya, Egypt.
x
Minya, Egypt.
Minya, Egypt.
Many of those on trial were arrested during fighting in the southern province of Minya, where the trial was held, after security forces dispersed Muslim Brotherhood protest camps last August in Cairo.

Hundreds, possibly more, died in the crackdown, most of them supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood and Mohamed Morsi, Egypt’s first freely elected leader. 

Thousands of Morsi supporters have been jailed since.

Caught up in the crackdown are several journalists, including Australian journalist Peter Greste, Egyptian-Canadian Mohamed Fahmy and Egyptian Baher Mohamed, of the Qatar-based Al-Jazeera network. 

They are on trial in a Cairo court charged with aiding what the government considers the "terrorist" Muslim Brotherhood.  

The defendants deny the charges, saying they were simply reporting the news.

Greste's brother Mike Greste was at the court where the trial continued Monday.

"We do not believe the prosecution will be able to present any evidence to substantiate the charges and more importantly, I am hoping another court date is set down sooner rather than later," he said.

The men were arrested late last year in a case that has attracted denunciations from media rights groups and others around the world.

Monday’s court proceedings come as Egyptian officials say the campaign for a permanent replacement for Morsi, himself on trial in several other court cases, will begin in the coming days.
 
Egyptian officials have put strong restrictions on media coverage, leaving Egyptian news dominated by praise of the military-backed government, in particular Defense Minister and widely assumed future presidential candidate General Abdel Fattah el-Sissi.

Anger over Morsi’s one year in power remains high among many Egyptians, who blame him and his Brotherhood supporters for their often violent exclusion from Egypt’s political process and attempting to impose a narrowly-based Islamist rule.

“The Brotherhood decided to step out of the process you know; it is they who should be asked to be inclusive,” said political commentator Hisham Kassem.

You May Like

IS Militants Release 49 Turkish Hostages

Turkey's state-run Anadolu news agency reports that no ransom was paid and no conditions accepted for the hostages' release; few details of the release are known More

Photogallery IS Attacks Send Thousands of Syrian Kurds Fleeing to Turkey

Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says more than 300 Kurdish fighters crossed into Syria from Turkey to defend a Kurdish area from attack by the Islamic militants More

Video Sierra Leone's Ebola Lockdown Continues

Thousands of health workers are going door to door in the West African country of 6 million, informing people of how to avoid Ebola, handing out soap More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Cecilia from: USA
March 24, 2014 7:47 PM
This should show the world what kind of sick, brutal dictatorship that is now running Egypt. Combine this with Egypt’s attempt to get weapons from the dictatorship in Russia, it clearly shows that this dictatorship has no intention of establishing a democracy for the suffering people of Egypt. America needs to make a decision to spend taxpayer dollars wisely. If we continue to support these military tyrants, it will be a mockery of what the U.S. Constitution and the Bill of Rights stand for. We can do better than this.

In Response

by: Natalee from: USA
March 24, 2014 9:02 PM
relax "Cecilia"... (probably a bloated Egyptian scumbag) you sound like a Muslim Brotherhood thug... Egypt is fighting the most pernicious terrorist organization in the Middle East... Muslim Brotherhood is Al Qaida, and it is Hamas. Muslime Brotherhood have killed innocent Americans and Israelis and supported the Hamas rockets of civilians in Israel. we should be standing shoulder to shoulder with the Egyptian Government in their valiant fight against these terrorist organizations... I really hope you are not in the US... because if you are here its only a matter of time before you strap suicide vest on your children to blow them up in one of our Malls... despicable Arab


by: Anonymous
March 24, 2014 3:06 PM
Forcing death on 500+ people is a crime and an atrocity in itself. Not saying they did not commit crimes (if they did)... Not good at all.


by: Godwin from: Nigeria
March 24, 2014 12:59 PM
I think Egypt is moving in the right direction, though the culprit should be the man ordering the killings rather than the messengers. Morsi should face the music. The country should not just outlaw the Muslim Brotherhood, it should ensure that anything done on behalf of the organization attracts stiff penalties. This means it should be criminal to mention the name of the evil organization in Egypt henceforth. The judgement should not stop at condemning the guilty, it should include compensation for families that lost their loved ones during the trouble. That way the wounds inflicted during the scuffle will be permanently healed.


by: meanbill from: USA
March 24, 2014 11:36 AM
The Muslim Brotherhood never had a military wing .. (BUT?) .. they do now, and it's growing all through the Islamic world...Pharaoh Mubarak is gone, and general el-Sissi isn't Pharaoh, and Egypt is lost..

In Response

by: Kamil P. from: USA
March 24, 2014 3:03 PM
I hope you are not one of those Egyptians brought into the US on mercy asylum program... bringing more of the like of you into the US will spell the end of the US...
The Muslim Brotherhood is al Qaeda, it is Hamas... it is a virulent metastatic cancer that must be eradicated - great kudos to the Egyptian Government - I just hope that the US Government would have been so decisive and resolute in the fight against terrorist organizations.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Fears Ebola Outbreak ‘Beyond Our Capability to Contain’i
X
Jeff Seldin
September 20, 2014 10:28 PM
Each day brings with it new warnings about the deadly Ebola outbreak already blamed for killing more than 2,600 people across West Africa. And while countries and international organizations like the United Nations are starting to come through on promises of help for those most affected, the unprecedented speed with which the virus has spread is raising questions about the international response. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more from Washington.
Video

Video Fears Ebola Outbreak ‘Beyond Our Capability to Contain’

Each day brings with it new warnings about the deadly Ebola outbreak already blamed for killing more than 2,600 people across West Africa. And while countries and international organizations like the United Nations are starting to come through on promises of help for those most affected, the unprecedented speed with which the virus has spread is raising questions about the international response. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more from Washington.
Video

Video Iran, World Powers Seek Progress in Nuclear Talks

Iran and the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council plus Germany, known as the P5 + 1, have started a new round of talks on Iran's nuclear program. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports that as the negotiations take place in New York, a U.S. envoy is questioning Iran's commitment to peaceful nuclear activity.
Video

Video Obama Goes to UN With Islamic State, Ebola on Agenda

President Obama goes to the United Nations General Assembly to rally nations to support a coalition against Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria. He also will look for nations to back his plan to fight the Ebola virus in West Africa. As VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports, Obama’s efforts reflect new moves by the U.S. administration to take a leading role in addressing world crises.
Video

Video Migrants Caught in No-Man's Land Called Calais

The deaths of hundreds of migrants in the Mediterranean this week has only recast the spotlight on the perils of reaching Europe. And for those forunate enough to reach a place like Calais, France, only find that their problems aren't over. Lisa Bryant has the story.
Video

Video Westgate Siege Anniversary Brings Back Painful Memories

One year after it happened, the survivors of the terror attack on Nairobi's Westgate Shopping Mall still cannot shake the images of that tragic incident. For VOA, Mohammed Yusuf tells the story of victims still waiting for the answer to the question 'how could this happen?'
Video

Video Militant Assault in Syria Displaces Thousands of Kurds

A major assault by Islamic State militants on Kurds in Syria has sent a wave of new refugees to the Turkish border, where they were stopped by Turkish border security. Turkey is already hosting about 700,000 Syrian refugees who fled the civil war between the government and the opposition. But the government in Ankara has a history of strained relations with Turkey's Kurdish minority. Zlatica Hoke reports Turkey is asking for international help.
Video

Video Whaling Summit Votes to Uphold Ban on Japan Whale Hunt

The International Whaling Commission, meeting in Slovenia, has voted to uphold a court ruling banning Japan from hunting whales in the Antarctic Ocean. Conservationists hailed the ruling as a victory, but Tokyo says it will submit revised plans for a whale hunt in 2015. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Water

Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Iraqi Kurdistan Church Helps Christian Children Cope find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil

In the past six weeks, tens of thousands of Iraqi Christians have been forced to flee their homes by Islamic State militants and find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil. Despite U.S. airstrikes in the region, the prospect of people returning home is still very low and concerns are starting to grow over the impact this is having on the displaced youth. Sebastian Meyer reports from Irbil on how one church is coping.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid