UN chief voices serious concern over Morsi death sentence

Written by  Published by:Shiite News
Published in Rest of World
Tuesday, 19 May 2015

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has voiced serious concern over the death sentences handed down to Egypt’s ousted president, Mohamed Morsi, and more than 100 others.

Ban’s deputy spokesman Farhan Haq said on Monday that the UN chief is worried about the death penalties, adding, “The secretary general understands that the verdict is still subject to an appeal.”

On May 16, an Egyptian court sentenced Morsi, Egypt’s first democratically-elected president, along with the other 105 defendants to death for a mass prison break during the country’s 2011 revolution against long-time dictator, Hosni Mubarak.
Haq also noted that the UN chief will precisely monitor the appeals process.

“The secretary general underscores the importance of all parties taking steps to promote - and avoiding those that could further undermine - peace, stability and the rule of law in the region,” he stated.

The death sentences are to be referred to the Grand Mufti, Egypt’s highest religious authority, for consultative review, and the final decision will be pronounced on June 2. The Grand Mufti’s verdict is non-binding on the court.

Morsi’s sentence has drawn widespread criticism from different countries and rights groups.

Amnesty International has denounced the death penalty given to Morsi as “a charade based on null and void procedures.” The European Union and the US have also censured the sentence.

In April, Morsi was given a 20-year prison term in a separate trial on charges of protester deaths in 2012. The case stemmed from the deaths and torture of demonstrators outside Morsi’s presidential palace in December 2012.

Morsi, affiliated with Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood movement, was elected as the country’s president in 2012 but was ousted only a year later in a military coup on July 4, 2013 by Mubarak-era army chief Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, who then led an interim government that crushed massive pro-Morsi protests.

The former military chief later campaigned for and won the country’s presidency in controversial elections.

The Sisi administration has been cracking down on any opposition since Morsi was ousted, banning the Muslim Brotherhood movement and arresting thousands of its members and supporters.

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