683 Egyptians were sentenced to death in a mass trial reports the AP. The citizens sentenced with capital punishment are allegedly supporters of Mohamed Morsi, the Islamist president ousted in 2013.
Among the citizens in the trial was the Muslim Brotherhood’s spiritual leader, Mohamed Badie. If executed, Badie would be the most senior member to be put to death since Sayed Qutb in 1966.
Judge Said Youssef made the call for capital punishment.
According to Egyptian law, Youssef could still reverse his ruling, but that is not enough for human rights groups.
Human Rights Watch’s Middle East and North Africa Division executive director Sarah Leah Whitson said, ‘The fact that the death sentences can be appealed provides little solace to hundreds of families that will go to sleep tonight facing the very real prospect that their loved ones could be executed without having an opportunity to present a case in court.”
The Grand Mufti, Egypt’s top Islamic official, will review the decision before the final verdicts are given on June 21.
Publication date: April 28, 2014