Erdogan condemns Egypt's death sentence for Morsi

Turkish president says Egypt's upholding of death sentence against deposed president is "massacre of basic rights".

    Former president Mohamed Morsi appeared inside a cage in the courtroom where he stood trial in Cairo [EPA]
    Former president Mohamed Morsi appeared inside a cage in the courtroom where he stood trial in Cairo [EPA]

    Turkish President Recept Tayyip Erdogan has condemned death sentences upheld by an Egyptian court against deposed president Mohamed Morsi and leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood, describing the verdicts as "a massacre of law and basic rights".

    Erdogan released a statement after Morsi's death sentence for plotting jailbreaks and attacks on police during the 2011 uprising was upheld on Tuesday, and asked the international community to force Egypt to withdraw the sentences.

    "We call on the international community to act to withdraw these death sentences, given under the instructions of the coup regime, and to put an end to this path which could seriously endanger the peace of Egyptian society," Erdogan said.

    The court had initially sentenced Morsi and more than 100 other defendants to death last month.

    Tuesday's ruling comes after the court consulted Egypt's grand mufti, the government interpreter of Islamic law who plays an advisory role.

    Earlier on Tuesday, the same court sentenced Morsi, the country's first democratically elected president, to life in prison on charges of spying for the Palestinian Hamas movement, Lebanon's Shia Hezbollah, and Iran.

    Tuesday's verdicts can be appealed.

    Then army chief and now President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi ousted Morsi on July 3, 2013, and since then has overseen a sweeping crackdown against his supporters.

    The crackdown has left hundreds of Muslim Brotherhood supporters dead and thousands jailed.

    Hundreds have been sentenced to death after speedy mass trials described by the United Nations as "unprecedented in recent history".

    In the jailbreak trial, exiled Egyptian-born cleric Yusuf al-Qaradawi was also condemned to death in absentia from his base in Qatar.

    Muslim Brotherhood Freedom and Justice Party spokesman Nader Oman told Al Jazeera from his base in Istanbul that his organisation was surprised by Tuesday's verdict.

    "I'm surprised because the charges are groundless and there is no chance for any of the defendants to defend themselves," Oman said.

    "The Muslim Brotherhood is an organisation that has gone on for more than 80 years. Imprisoning our leaders will not stop us from fighting."

     

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera and agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Interactive: Coding like a girl

    Interactive: Coding like a girl

    What obstacles do young women in technology have to overcome to achieve their dreams? Play this retro game to find out.

    Heron Gate mass eviction: 'We never expected this in Canada'

    Hundreds face mass eviction in Canada's capital

    About 150 homes in one of Ottawa's most diverse and affordable communities are expected to be torn down in coming months

    I remember the day … I designed the Nigerian flag

    I remember the day … I designed the Nigerian flag

    In 1959, a year before Nigeria's independence, a 23-year-old student helped colour the country's identity.