Egypt's judiciary 'offended' by foreign criticism over mass death sentences: Ministry

Ahram Online , Wednesday 17 Jun 2015

Egypt's foreign ministry has responded to Qatar, the US and the UN's 'concern' over mass death sentences against more than 100 people, including ousted Islamist president Mohamed Morsi

Egypt's ousted Islamist President Mohammed Morsi gestures in a defendants cage at the Police Academy courthouse in Cairo, Egypt, Tuesday, June 16, 2015. (Photo: AP)

Egypt's foreign affairs ministry on Wednesday said it rejected some countries "offending the Egyptian judiciary", following mass death sentences on Tuesday against over 100 defendants including ousted Muslim Brotherhood president Mohamed Morsi.

The ministry described some countries condemnations of the verdicts as "futile attempts to impose visions and policies that are against the will of the Egyptian people," a foreign affairs ministry statement read.

On Tuesday, a Cairo court sentenced 99 to death including Morsi over a prison break in 2011. Only six of the convicted are in custody, while the others were sentenced in absentia.

Also on Tuesday, the same court issued 16 death sentences against Muslim Brotherhood figures and supporters in a case related to espionage charges with Palestine's Hamas.

Both verdicts can still be appealed.

The ministry's statement added that the defendants were convicted "in fair and impartial trials on criminal, not political charges."

It also said that the verdicts are not final and can still be appealed.

On Wednesday, Qatar expressed "deep concern" over Mors's death sentence and asked that "the verdict to be quashed and Morsi released."

The United States said that they were "deeply troubled" by the death sentence against Morsi, and described it as "politically motivated".

The United Nations said meanwhile that "the Secretary-General is concerned that such verdicts, handed down after mass trials, may well have a negative impact on the prospects for long-term stability in Egypt."

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