Crime & Investigation

Fury Grips Egypt As 529 Muslims Join Death Row


advice geneva; font-size: small; line-height: 200%;”>Rights groups, what is ed the United States and the European Union expressed concern and questioned the fairness of proceedings against so many defendants lasting just two days.

The largest mass sentencing in the country’s history was a sharp escalation of a crackdown on the Muslim Brotherhood that the military-installed government has declared a “terrorist organisation”.

Monday’s sentences in the central city of Minya were related to the death of a policeman and other violence that took place across the country since July, when the army overthrew Egypt’s first freely elected president, Mohamed Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood.

Amnesty International said the death sentences were “a grotesque example of the shortcomings and the selective nature of Egypt’s justice system”.

The UK-based rights group has called for the verdict to be quashed adding “it is the largest single batch of simultaneous death sentences we’ve seen in recent years, not just in Egypt but anywhere in the world.”

Legal experts said the shock verdict would likely be overturned on appeal because the court had rushed the trial without following the required procedures adding that the judge brought the case to a close after two sessions and refused to allow the defence to complete their cases.

However, Egypt’s army-installed interim government defended the court’s handling of the case, insisting that the sentences had been handed down only “after careful study” and was subject to appeal.

It is on the same note revealed that the court is also holding a trial a case against nearly 700 other Muslim Brotherhood supporters, including Mohamed Badie, the supreme guide of the movement.

Court has set April 28 as judgment day for the 700 Islamists.



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