529 members of the Muslim Brotherhood received a death sentence Monday from an Egyptian court. In a two-day mass trial, the group was found guilty of murdering a policeman, inciting outbreaks of violence and attacking a police station in the Nile Valley city of Minya in August.
It’s the largest mass sentence in Egypt’s history.
According to Reuters, “turmoil has deepened since the army overthrew Egypt's first freely elected president, Mohamed Mursi of the Muslim Brotherhood, in July. Security forces have killed hundreds of Brotherhood members in the streets and arrested thousands.”
“This is injustice writ large and these death sentences must be quashed. Imposing death sentences of this magnitude in a single case makes Egypt surpass most other countries’ use of capital punishment in a year,” said Amnesty International Middle East and North Africa Deputy Director Hassiba Hadj Sahraoui. “Egypt’s courts are quick to punish Mohamed Morsi’s supporters, but ignore gross human rights violations by the security forces.”
Amnesty International reports Egyptian courts handed down at least 109 death sentences in 2013, 91 death sentences in 2012 and at least 123 in 2011.
Morsi awaits a trail of his own.
According to the Associated Press high-ranking Brotherhood figure Ibrahim Moneir denounced the verdicts, warning that “abuses of justice will fuel a backlash against the military-backed government that replaced Morsi.”