Egypt's first democratically elected president Mohammed Morsi, along with more than 100 other people, were sentenced to death on May 16, 2015.
The case of the Muslim Brotherhood member, who is already serving a 20-year sentence for ordering the arrest and torture of protesters while in power, has now been refered to the country's top religious authority, the Mufti, to be rubberstamped, before the sentence can be carried out. The next hearing is set for June 2.
Today's sentence was handed to Morsi for collaborating with foreign militants to free Islamists during a prison break from the Wadi Natroun prison amid the Egyptian revolution in January 2011. Among his 105 co-defendants were some 70 Palestinians, accused of being members of Hamas, who were charged and tried in absentia. And among the Palestinians sentenced to death, Hassan Salameh has been in an Israeli prison since 1994, and Raed Attar is already dead.
Egypt sentences Palestinians Hassan Salameh & Raed Attar to death – one has been in Israeli prison since 1994, other is dead #MorsiTrial
— Middle East Eye (@MiddleEastEye) May 16, 2015
According to the case brought against Morsi, Hamas militants used tunnels from Gaza to enter Egypt, where they besieged prisons, freeing Islamists jailed by Mubarak. Among those freed were 30 top Muslim Brotherhood members, including Morsi, as well as up to 20,000 inmates.
Morsi was the president of Egypt for one year after the revolution, which overthrew Hosni Mubarak early 2011, who ruled Egypt for more than 30 years. Morsi's reign was cut short in July 2013, following massive protests calling for his ouster. Then, the Egyptian Army took command, under the leadership of Commander-in-Chief of the Egyptian Armed Forces and Minister of Defence General Abdul Fattah El Sisi, who is now Egypt's president.
Since being deposed of power, Morsi's Muslim Brotherhood movement was banned in Egypt, and thousands of its supporters arrested. Among them are brotherhood supreme guide Mohamed Badie and MB leader Mohamed Beltagy, who have also been sentenced to death.
According to journalist Sarah El Sirgany, who has 85K followers, and who was at the trial:
Referral to the Grand Mufti indicates a death sentence. His opinion is only advisory. The judge will announce the actual sentences on June 2
— Sarah El Sirgany (@Ssirgany) May 16, 2015
To recap: In espionage trial 16 were referred to Mufti. Morsi not included. In Jailbreak trial Morsi & over 100 were referred to the Mufti.
— Sarah El Sirgany (@Ssirgany) May 16, 2015
News of Morsi's sentence drew a storm of reactions online, with commentators across the religious and political spectrum denouncing the trial as politically motivated.
From Prisoner to President
The turn of events in Morsi's life from prisoner to president is not lost on Rana Allam, who wonders how someone who had escaped from prison was allowed to run for president in the first place. She tweets:
Egyptian court seeks death penalty for former president Mursi http://t.co/eojr6HLKoe For jail break in 2011..yet left to run for president!!
— Rana Allam (@Run_Rana) May 16, 2015
Many predict that Morsi would not be executed, as such cases can be appealed and can take years in court.
Egyptian Amr tells his 4.5K followers:
Unless #Sisi has lost his mind #Morsi will never be executed. BUT Any remaining shreds of respect 4 #Egyptian judiciary were executed today
— Amr No 2 CC (@Cairo67Unedited) May 16, 2015
And Fustat, with 3.9K followers, adds:
Neither Morsi or Muslim Brotherhood Muhamed Badie is likely to be executed in the end , their sentences will be commuted. #MorsiTrial #Egypt
— fustat (@fustat) May 16, 2015
Human rights organisations described the trial as a sham.
After the verdict, Human Rights Watch (HRW) Executive Director Kenneth Roth tweeted:
Morsi got 20 years based not on evidence but police conjecture & court bias: @HRW analysis. http://t.co/XM7IUhIr4w pic.twitter.com/s67NIFSgLv
— Kenneth Roth (@KenRoth) April 26, 2015
His colleague, HRW European Media Director Andrew Stroehlein added:
Court sentences ousted president Morsi to death. More proof Egypt's respect for rights is zero http://t.co/hZg9iFgnWD pic.twitter.com/NGB5GKvElo
— Andrew Stroehlein (@astroehlein) May 16, 2015
Netizens from across the region followed suit.
Omar Ghraieb from Gaza notes:
Many people have told me that they no longer understand #Egypt or the judicial system there. I agree. #Gaza
— Omar Ghraieb (@Omar_Gaza) May 16, 2015
And Bahraini Adel Marzooq writes to his 39.1K followers:
سؤال: عرف العار؟ الإجابة: #قضاء_مصر وما أرساه من قوانين وآليات وإجراءات وما صدره لباقي الدول العربية (ومنها #البحرين ) من قوانين وقضاة. #مصر
— Adel Marzooq (@adelmarzooq) May 16, 2015
Define shame? The answer is: The Egyptian judiciary, and the laws, mechanisms and procedures it has instilled and exported to the other Arab countries (including Bahrain) which follow Egyptian laws and appoints Egyptian judges
Morsi was installed as another US puppet. Once the Egyptian people discovered that fact, they rebelled again, and this time got the military to assist them in finally eliminating US puppet masters from their country. Morsi’s trial may have been a sham, but then so was his government. He got what he deserved. Justice for the Egyptian people was served.
What a load of B.S. The same people that attacked us on 9/11 are now in control of Egypt.The Wahabist Saudis paid the military $15 BILLION dollars to over throw Morsi when Morsi said he would have NOTHING to do with the Sunni/Shia warfare and would allow Iran,Iraq and Syria to use the Suez canal to ship oil to Asia after the proposed Iran/Iraq/Syria oil pipeline was built. All those protesters you saw were paid by the Saudis. The Egyptians,Saudis,and Kuwaitis and Qataris support ISIS,The Taliban,Al Shabbab,Boko haram and the Haqqanis. Why do you think none of the monarchies or Egypt are fighting ISIS? They support them.You’re cheering for the very people that murdered 3000 innocent Americans on 9/11,and behead Americans in Iraq . How can you be so dumb?
9/11 was an inside job, and Muslims were made the scapegoats, because Arab countries are where the oil’s at.
ISIS was created by the US as an excuse to bomb Syria.
We have met the real terrorists, and they are US.
ISIS existed long before we invaded Iraq. They’ve been around since the Ottoman occupation.They just didn’t have any financing until the Shiite pipeline was announced. You obviously have never been to the Middle East.
One more note….You do realize that 56% of the Egyptian people were NOT allowed to vote in the new election don’t you? How can you be so ignorant?
I realize a great deal more than you do.
You’re the ignorant one if you think another US installed puppet government would be more democratic that Egypt’s present government.
You’ve obviously never set foot in the Middle east,and you have no idea what you’re talking about.Google “Dara Nurredin”. When your cousin becomes the Justice Minister of a Middle Eastern country maybe you can tell me what’s really happening there.You need to put the crack pipe down.Egypt’s present government is a Wahabist nightmare.