US condemns life sentence against American in Egypt

AFP , Sunday 12 Apr 2015

Mohamed Soltan
Mohamed Soltan (Photo: Courtesy of Freedom for the Brave Facebook page)

The White House lashed out at Egypt on Saturday for jailing a US-Egyptian citizen for life over Islamist protest violence, calling for his "immediate release."

Mohamed Soltan, who is on hunger strike, received his sentence alongside 14 other defendants who got the death penalty, including Muslim Brotherhood leader Mohamed Badie.

His father Salah Soltan was among those sentenced to death.

"The United States condemns the life sentence issued today in Egypt against American citizen Mohamed Soltan," White House spokesman Josh Earnest said in a statement.

"We call for Mr Soltan's immediate release from prison."

The defendants were accused of plotting unrest from their headquarters in a sprawling Cairo protest camp in the months after the ouster of Islamist president Mohamed Morsi in July 2013.

"We remain deeply concerned about Mr Soltan's health, which has suffered during his 20 month-long incarceration," Earnest said.

"The president is deeply committed to the welfare of all US citizens abroad and we will ensure that Mr Soltan continues to receive consular support until he can return safely to the United States, per his wishes."

The Rabaa al-Adawiya protest camp in Cairo was dispersed by police on August 14, 2013. Mohamed Soltan was shot in the arm and arrested days later as police hunted down Islamists who had fled the protest camp.

*The story was edited by Ahram Online. 

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