Egypt Sentences 2 Morsi Supporters to Death

March 30, 2014  

A court in Egypt on Saturday sentenced to death two supporters of deposed president Mohammed Morsi, who were convicted of throwing youths off an apartment block roof, AFP reported.

One of the young men thrown from the building in the Mediterranean port city of Alexandria was killed.

The court submitted its verdict to the mufti, the government’s official interpreter of Islamic law, for approval or rejection, judicial sources told AFP.

The latest death sentences come despite international outcry at Egypt handing down the death penalty to 529 Islamists this past Monday.

That verdict can be appealed, and the mufti has upheld death sentences in the past, noted AFP.

The men sentenced to death on Saturday were among 63 people on trial over deadly violence in Alexandria’s Sidi Gaber neighborhood on July 5 of last year, two days after Morsi was ousted by the army.

The violence in Alexandria broke out as supporters and opponents of Morsi took to the streets of Egypt’s second city, with one group demanding his reinstatement and the other celebrating the end of his sole year in power.

Amateur video posted on social networks at the time showed men throwing two youths from the building.

It showed four young men cowering on the rooftop who are followed by several older men, one of them bearded and holding a jihadist flag.

The men are seen throwing stones at the youths and later one is thrown from the roof.

The video goes on to show club-wielding men beating the youth’s body.

Another man is later thrown from the roof and survives but is injured.

The latest death penalties come just days after an Egyptian judge issued death to 529 defendants on charges of killing a policeman during an attack on a police station last summer.

A day later, the trial of a further 682 Islamists began, among them the Brotherhood’s spiritual leader, Mohammed Badie, who was arrested last August after a brief spell in hiding.

And on Wednesday, Egypt’s chief prosecutor ordered two trials for a total of 919 more people, who were charged with murder.

The mass death sentences have been condemned by the international community. A State Department official said on Monday that “it simply does not seem possible that a fair review of evidence and testimony consistent with international standards could be accomplished with over 529 defendants after a two-day trial.”

“We continue to call on the Egyptian government to ensure that all those detained in Egypt are afforded fair proceedings that respect civil liberties and due process and are consistent with international standards. The law must be applied equitably and free of political bias,” said the official.

On Tuesday, the United States warned Egypt that executing supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood may affect the aid that Washington provides to Cairo.

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