The verdicts draw international outcry
Nearly 700 Egyptians were sentenced to death in single mass trial in Egypt, causing a stir and condemnation from the West and human rights group.
The defendants allegedly participated in 2013 post coup violence. The mass trials were linked to deadly riots in which supporters of ousted President Mohammed Morsi allegedly attacked police stations and churches, resulting to the deaths of three policemen and a civilian.
Media reports say Judge Said Youssef announced the sentences of 683 men at a court session.
Egypt’s court action drew international outcry.
Amnesty International issued statement saying that the court’s action is part of Egypt’s repressive policies.
In addition, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said the verdicts will undermine prospects for long-term stability of Egypt.
The United States also expressed concern on the mass trials in Egypt.
In her remarks in Washington DC, Department Spokesperson Jen Psaki said the US is deeply concernd with the Egyptian court actions related to another mass trial.
Ms. Psaki pointed out that the court decisions run counter to the most basic democratic principles and foster the instability, extremism, and radicalization that Egypt’s interim government says it seeks to resolve.
The US urges the Egyptian Government to demonstrate – through actions rather than words – its support for the universal human rights and freedoms and democratic, accountable governance that the Egyptian people continue to demand.
The current Egypt’s military-backed government has cracked down on Morsi supporters under the banner of a “war against terrorism.”
Morsi was ousted July by the military after millions demonstrated and demanded he step down. However Morsi’s supporters continued to stage protests and violence escalated, leading to massive detentions and deaths.
In May 2012, with the hope of regaining the country’s stability after the revolution, Egyptians headed to the polls to cast their ballots in the country’s first free vote for a leader in 5,000 years of history.
Around 50 million eligible Egyptian voters were called upon to choose 13 candidates.
Earlier in 2012, President Obama proposed a $1 billion cancellation of Egyptian debt to support Egypt’s economic recovery.
Egypt has made progress on human rights since the revolution that toppled the regime of Hosni Mubarak.
Long-standing regimes were toppled by a wave of pro-democracy protests that have engulfed much of North Africa and the Middle East in 2011, particularly in Egypt, Tunisia and Libya.