US “deeply concerned” over Morsi death sentence

United States is deeply concerned over death penalty decision for former President Mohammed Mursi, the US State Department says

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Updated Jul 28, 2015

The US State Department said on Sunday the United States is deeply concerned over the court decision of death penalty given for the Egypt’s former President Mohammed Morsi.

An Egyptian court ordered the death penalty for Morsi and 105 codefendants on Saturday, and the decision has been sent to the Egypt’s top religious authority the “Grand Mufti” for approval.

"We are deeply concerned by yet another mass death sentence handed down by an Egyptian court to more than 100 defendants, including former President Morsi," said the State Department. 

Egypt’s military officers, led by the current President Abdul-Fattah el Sisi, removed the country’s first democratically elected president Mohamed Morsi with a coup, suspended the Constitution on July 3, 2013.

"We have consistently spoken out against the practice of mass trials and sentences, which are conducted in a manner that is inconsistent with Egypt's international obligations and the rule of law," the State Department said.  

Egyptian authorities had accused Morsi and 130 other Muslim Brotherhood members of taking part in a mass jailbreak during Egypt’s 2011 revolution that ousted President Hosni Mubarak who ruled Egypt for 30 years. 

In the long awaited verdict for Mohamed Morsi’s second and third charges, the deposed Egyptian president received the death penalty on Saturday along with 106 others for breaking out of prison in 2011.

The cases, like any capital sentence, will be referred to Egypt's top religious authority, the Grand Mufti, for an opinion before any executions can take place. The last trial will be June 2, after the Grand Mufti has the last word.

Death sentence recipients include Islamic scholar Yusuf Qaradawi, who currently resides in Qatar. 

Regarding espionage charges for the Palestinian group Hamas, 16 others received the death penalty.

The Human Rights Watch (HRW) released a report on Sunday determining that the court which tried Egypt’s first ever democratically elected president Mohamed Morsi and the verdict it reached were “badly flawed.”

TRTWorld and agencies