By sentencing Egypt’s former President Mohamed Morsi and 102 others, including senior Muslim Brotherhood members, to death today, the Egyptian authorities have once again demonstrated the appalling state of the country’s justice system, Amnesty International said.
“This appalling outcome is sadly not surprising. It’s just another symptom of how horrendously broken Egypt’s justice system has become,” said Colm O’Gorman, Executive Director of Amnesty International Ireland. “This is nothing more than a vengeful march to the gallows. These entire legal proceedings have been a mockery of justice and the death sentences must be thrown out. Mohamed Morsi and his aides must be released or retried in civilian court in line with Egyptian law and international fair trial standards without recourse to death penalty.”
In one of two cases the criminal court ruled on today, former President Morsi and 80 others, including senior Muslim Brotherhood members, were sentenced to death for orchestrating mass prison-breaks during the “25 January Revolution”, aided by Hamas and Hizbullah.
In a separate case, 16 people, including senior Muslim Brotherhood members, were sentenced to death on charges of espionage on behalf of the International Organization of the Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas. In this case, Mohamed Morsi and another 16 people were sentenced to life imprisonment. Another two senior members of the Muslim Brotherhood were sentenced to seven-year prison terms.
The death sentences come after the Grand Mufti, Egypt’s highest religious authority, reviewed the case and advised in favour of death sentences. It can still be appealed before Egypt’s highest court.
The Egyptian authorities should drop all the charges in all cases against Mohamed Morsi and his aides on the basis they were subjected to enforced disappearance following their removal from power on 3 July 2013. Any evidence used from their interrogations during the period when they were held incommunicado must be thrown out. Mohamed Morsi should not have not been in prison in 2011 as he was held in administrative detention, under emergency powers and without a judicial detention order.
Amnesty International opposes the death penalty in all cases without exception, regardless of the nature or circumstances of the crime, the guilt, innocence or other characteristics of the offender or the method used by the state to carry out the execution.