CAIRO – The Egyptian judge who issued a mass death sentence to supporters of deposed President Mohamed Morsi last month issued another verdict on Monday, April 28, sentencing Muslim Brotherhood leader Mohamed Badie and 682 other alleged Islamists to death.
“This is not justice. It’s a hate-filled attack by the authorities on hundreds of their fellow citizens, whose families are living through heartbreak and terror,” human rights group Avaaz executive director Ricken Patel said in the statement cited by Agence France Presse (AFP).
Monday's hearing in the southern province of Minya comes amid a brutal crackdown on Morsi supporters and the Brotherhood since the military overthrew him last July.
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The court has come under spotlight after the judge, Said Yousef Sabry, sentenced an earlier batch of 529 defendants to death in just two sessions last March 24.
The second batch, including Badie, had faced charges of the murder and attempted murder of several policemen during rioting by Morsi supporters in Minya on August 14.
Several female relatives waiting outside the courtroom fainted on hearing news of the verdict.
Of the 683 accused, about 50 are in custody while the rest are either out on bail or on the run.
Legal expert Gamal Eid said that the judgment can be appealed at the Court of Cassation.
The charges are similar to those faced by the 529 defendants.
Defense lawyers boycotted the last session, branding it “farcical” after the mass death sentencing which the United Nations denounced as a breach of international human rights law.
In March case, defense lawyer Khaled Elkomy asserted that 60 percent of the 529 defendants, including teachers and some doctors, have evidence that “proves they were not present the day they were accused of attacking the Matay police station” in Minya, a statement released by Avaaz said.
Condemnations EgyptSentences-Brotherhood-Leader-682-to-Death Every male member of this family were sentenced to death, 6 in total "we have nothing left" mother says.
Today’s death sentences have sparked immediate condemnations from the International Union for Muslim Scholars (IUMS) who lamented this level of loss of justice.
The IUMS confirmed that, “those sentences, which are not based on impartial investigations or stable political atmosphere, lack credibility and confirm that they are designed to crush opponents,” the Union said in a statement obtained by OnIslam.net.
The Union has also expressed deep concerns regarding the repression of freedoms in Egypt which affected scholars, women, men, students and even children.
It also referred to unjustified killing of opponents and detentions which goes against Islamic Shari`ah laws, international laws and human rights charters.
Egypt has been thrown into turmoil after Morsi, Egypt's first democratically elected president, was toppled by the powerful military on Wednesday after massive protests against his regime.
The Muslim Brotherhood, from which Morsi hails, has vowed to continue in peaceful protests until the Islamist president is reinstated.
There has since been a severe crackdown on his Muslim Brotherhood group, as well as on other activists seen as hostile to the military-backed interim government.
Last December, the Brotherhood was declared a terrorist organization after which the authorities started punishing any public show of support for it.
Reproduced with permission from OnIslam.net - Read full article here
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