Sentences Served to Mursi and Other Muslim Brotherhood Leaders ‘Farcical’ – Statement

The banned Muslim Brotherhood gly condemned the sentences of death and life in prison served to former president Mohamed Mursi and other group leaders earlier on Tuesday, describing them as “non-sense”.

In a statement published shortly after Mursi was served a death sentence for escaping prison in 2011 and sentenced to life in prison for espionage, the Brotherhood said the sentences were “farcical”.

The group called for a “popular uprising” on Friday in protest over “the death sentences, the arrests, the abductions and the forced disappearances.”

“The military traitors have cut off all lines of reversing [their actions] by their ruling to execute the elected president and the nation’s honourable people,” the statement read. It also condemned the “international silence” in the face of “crimes committed in Egypt under the pretext of the laws.”

Mursi was sentenced to death in the prison escape trial, in which 129 defendants were brought to court. They are accused of escaping the Wadi al-Natroun prison during the January 2011 uprising, with the help of the Palestinian Hamas and Lebanese Hezbollah groups.

Brotherhood Supreme Guide Mohamed Badie, his deputy Rashad Bayoumi, and leading Brotherhood figures Saad al-Katatny and Essam El-Erian were also handed death sentences for the prison escape case.

This is Badie’s third death sentence. The Brotherhood’s highest leader appeared in court donning a red prison uniform, the color worn by people awaiting capital punishment.

According to Egyptian law, there is room to appeal the death sentences. Even if the defendants choose not to, Egyptian prosecutors automatically appeal death sentences.

Earlier on Tuesday, Mursi and Badie were both sentenced to life in prison for an espionage case. 16 were sentenced to death in the espionage case, including Brotherhood figures Khairat al-Shater and Mohamed El-Beltagy.

Mursi and 35 other defendants were charged with espionage, disclosing state secrets to foreign countries, funding terrorism, conducting military training to serve an international branch of the Brotherhood, and “endangering the independence, unity and safety of the state.”

The Brotherhood said in its statement that both the trials and the sentences served in them are “null”.

Mursi, who became Egypt’s president in June 2012 after the first democratic elections in the country, was eventually ousted at the hands of the military following mass protests against his rule, after a year in power.

Since his removal in July 2013, Mursi has faced multiple charges in five trials.

The former president still faces charges in a separate espionage trial and for insulting the judiciary.

His ouster was also followed by the arrests of dozens of Brotherhood leading figures.

Egypt listed the Brotherhood as a terrorist organisation in December 2013 and insists it is behind the wave of militancy which has targeted security personnel since July 2013.

The Brotherhood continuously denies the accusations.

Source : Aswat Masriya