U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry ‘deeply troubled’ by Egypt mass sentences
By Michael Hernandez, Wednesday, March 26, 2014
WASHINGTON D.C. – America’s top diplomat said he is ‘deeply troubled’ by the sentencing to death of over 500 Egyptians following a hastily conducted trial.
“I am deeply, deeply troubled by the sudden and unprecedented decision by an Egyptian court to issue preliminary death sentences for 529 citizens after a quick mass trial,” said U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry in a statement released to the press.
The 529, purportedly supporters of ousted Egyptian president Mohammad Morsi, were sentenced to death on Monday in a trial relating to an attack on a police station in which an Egyptian police officer was killed last August. The sentences were handed out after only two court sessions. The case has now been referred to Egypt’s Grand Mufti to approve the decision.
“It is impossible to believe that such a proceeding satisfied even the most basic standards of justice. The interim government must understand the negative message that this decision, if upheld, would send to the world about Egypt's commitment to international law and inclusivity,” remarked Kerry.
He called on the Egyptian government to reverse the ruling, and ensure due process in Egypt.
The need for due process in Egypt ‘assumed greater urgency’ following a second mass trial that began Tuesday, according to Kerry.
The trial includes nearly 700 defendants. The same judge that issued Monday’s decision, Said Youssef, also presided over Tuesday’s trial. He said that he would issue his verdict during the next session currently scheduled for April 28.
Copyright © 2014 Anadolu Agency