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Morsi verdict a “miscarriage of justice”

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With the chorus of international condemnation growing, the Muslim Judicial Council (MJC) has rejected the death sentence of former president Muhammad Morsi, calling it an “unjust verdict”. Morsi, the first democratically elected president of Egypt, and 106 Muslim Brotherhood members were handed down the death penalty in an Egyptian court on Saturday, after being convicted of organising a mass jail break in 2011. Well known Islamic scholar Shaykh Yusuf al Qaradawi was also sentenced to death in absentia “for inciting people to revolt.”

The MJC said the ruling by the Abdel Fattah Sisi regime was rejected on the basis that it has been issued by a state that came to power through a military coup and has “manipulated the scales of justice to further the injustices upon which it was built”.

Following its violent establishment, the military state has sought to charge all those who opposed its rule with extreme and harsh sentences in order to strike fear into the nation who they oppress, said the ulema body.

“It’s with great sadness that we watch what’s happening in Egypt. We are living in a time that when you speak against wrong, then you are being punished for it. It’s a dangerous world we are living in at the moment,” said MJC deputy president Sheikh Riad Fataar.

The Media Review Network (MRN) called the verdicts a “miscarriage of justice and the betrayal of democratic values”. The South African advocacy group said the Egyptian judiciary was politically motivated, pointing to the judgments handed down on Muslim Brotherhood members Mohammed Badie, Mohamed Soltan and Gehad El-Haddad.

“Sad is the day that the world witnesses the death sentence for the democratic choices of the people. Despite the concocted charges, the true nature of the verdict is evident…this being the legalisation of political assassination with the arm of the judiciary acting as “legaliser” of such grotesque acts,” said MRN chairman Zaakir Ahmad Mayet.

The South African government has yet to issue any official statement on the court’s decision. On Monday, the US said it was “deeply concerned” about the mass death sentence. Egypt remains one of Washington’s closest security allies in the region

“We call on all countries guided by the principle of justice to decry these flawed verdicts and isolate the Republic of Egypt for these abominable actions. We further condemn those countries that have turned a blind eye to the Egyptian violations of prisoner rights, democratic values and the bedrock of justice. A tyrannical regime installed via a military coup d’état should not and cannot be tolerated in the modern world,” said Mayet.

Morsi served as the fifth president of Egypt, from 30 June 2012 to 3 July 2013, when he was removed by el-Sisi’s military regime after the June 2013 Egyptian protests and the 2013 Egyptian coup d’état. Since then, there has been a political campaign to arrest all Muslim Brother supporters and the movement has now been banned.

In addition to the death penalty, Morsi has also been sentenced to 20 years in prison after being convicted of ordering the detention and torture of protesters in 2012.

The death sentence will only be finalised on the 2 June. All capital sentences are referred to Egypt’s top religious authority, the Grand Mufti, for a non-binding opinion, and are also subject to legal appeal. VOC

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