US express concern over Morsi death sentence

US express concern over Morsi death sentence
# 17 June 2015 23:29 (UTC +04:00)
On Tuesday, former Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi was sentenced on charges of espionage as well as on charges related to a mass jailbreak incident in 2011 during demonstrations that removed then Egyptian leader Hosni Mubarak. Apart from the death penalty, Morsi was also given a life sentence.
"Today, Egypt [court] confirms mass death sentences of pol oppos, [including] ex Pres Morsi. Absence of due process undermines justice system's [credibility]," Samantha Power, the United States ambassador to the UN said Wednesday on her official Twitter account.
Iranian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Merziye Afham also voiced concern over the death sentences.
"We are concerned over the death sentence given to the first elected president of Egypt who came to power in a free and competitive election," Afham said in a written statement on Wednesday.
She stated that Egypt could solve its problems only with the democratic mechanisms.
Afham underlined that methods that are based on repression, elimination and violence would only result in undermining Egypt.
"We do not see this sentence as compatible with human dignity. We are in favor of its abolition worldwide," said Chancellor Angela Merkel’s spokesman Steffen Seibert earlier.
A sentiment echoed by EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini in a statement Tuesday saying the death penalty represented “an unacceptable denial of human dignity and integrity."
On Tuesday United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, too, expressed concern over the decision, urging Egypt to impose a moratorium on the death penalty.
“The Secretary-General is concerned that such verdicts, handed down after mass trials, may well have a negative impact on the prospects for long-term stability in Egypt,” a UN statement said.
The Egyptian court had also sentenced five Muslim Brotherhood leaders, including the group’s head, Mohamed Badie, to death for participating in the jailbreak.
Ninety-four other co-defendants were also sentenced to the gallows, in absentia, on similar charges, including prominent Muslim scholar Yusuf al-Qaradawi.
Morsi was ousted by the military in a 2013 coup – after only one year in office – following protests against his presidency.
Since Morsi's removal, the Egyptian authorities have launched a crackdown on dissent that has largely targeted Morsi supporters, leaving hundreds dead and thousands behind bars.