Egyptian journalist El-Husseini Abu-Deif (Photo: Al-Ahra)
Egypt's press syndicate has sent an urgent memo to the prosecutor-general, calling on him to appeal Tuesday's 20-year-jail verdict against ousted Islamist president Mohamed Morsi.
A Cairo criminal court on Tuesday sentenced the former president to 20 years in prison for inciting violence that led to the death of ten people during clashes outside the Ittihadiya presidential palace in December 2012, including journalist El-Husseini Abu-Deif.
Morsi and all other 14 defendants were acquitted of the charge of premeditated murder.
Hours after Tuesday's ruling, the press syndicate said that it would seek an appeal through its legal counselor in coordination with Abu-Deif's defence team to hold those responsible for his death accountable.
On 5 December 2012, during Morsi's rule, opposition forces rallied in front of Cairo's Ittihadeya presidential palace to peacefully protest a November 2012 presidential decree with which Morsi had sought to place his orders above judicial oversight.
The following morning, hundreds of Morsi supporters stormed a small overnight anti-decree sit-in camp. This prompted thousands of Morsi's opponents to demonstrate again at the palace, resulting in clashes with his followers.
At least ten people were killed, including Abu-Deif, a 33-year-old journalist at the weekly El-Fagr newspaper, who was covering the protest.
In the Ittihedeya trial, Morsi faced charges of inciting his supporters and aides to commit murder, use violence and thuggery, as well as illegally detain protesters and torture them.
Egypt’s prosecution argued in court that Morsi should be convicted of premeditated murder since he had attempted to order the interior minister and presidential guard to disperse the protestors.
Tuesday's verdict is the first against Morsi since his ouster in July 2013.