Barack Hussein Obama must be outraged at this verdict against his Brotherhood pals, several of whom are serving in his own administration right now. Mohamed Badie, spiritual leader of the Muslim Brotherhood and 13 other defendants were handed death sentences as 37 people, including an Egyptian-American citizen arrested for being a material supporter of the Brotherhood, were jailed for life by a Cairo court.
UK Daily Mail The defendants found guilty of plotting unrest from their headquarters in a sprawling Cairo protest camp in the months after the military overthrew Islamist president Mohamed Morsi in July 2013.
Judge Mohamed Nagy Shehata, known for his harsh rulings in cases involving the Muslim Brotherhood, also sentenced two Islamists who have fled the country to death.
Among those sentenced to life in prison is Mohamed Soltan, an American-Egyptian man who has been on a hunger strike over his detention for more than 14 months. (And regrettably, still is not dead yet) Soltan’s family called for Mohamed’s immediate release in a statement after the verdict, charging that there was no evidence against him. His father Salah Soltan was among the 14 detainees sentenced to death.
The U.S. embassy in Cairo said in a statement that it was ‘gravely concerned’ about Mohamed Soltan and would ‘continue to monitor his case closely and to provide him with all possible support.’ So far Egypt has executed one Islamist sentenced to death after Morsi’s overthrow, following his conviction of involvement in the murder of a youth during violent protests in July 2013.
Judge Shehata read out a Koranic verse that stipulates amputation and crucifixion for outlaws, before rendering his verdict on Saturday. At a previous session, he had sought the opinion of the country’s mufti, the Islamic legal authority who has an advisory role under Egyptian law, on the death sentences.
Known as the ‘Rabaa Operations Room’ case, the prosecution accused the defendants of organising months of unrest and protests against the ouster of Morsi, a senior Brotherhood figure himself now on trial. The Rabaa al-Adawiya protest camp in Cairo was dispersed by police on August 14, 2013 in a 12-hour operation that left hundreds of protesters and about 10 policemen dead.
Mohamed Soltan was shot in the arm during the dispersal, and he was arrested days later as police hunted down Islamist activists who had fled the protest camp.
Police moved in to disperse the camp after weeks of failed European and US-brokered negotiations with the Brotherhood, who publicly insisted on Morsi’s return.
The radical Islamist was the country’s first freely elected president and he ruled only for a year before the Egyptian people toppled him, spurred by massive protests demanding his resignation.
President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, the former army chief who toppled Morsi and then won an election, has pledged to eradicate the Brotherhood. The government has blacklisted the movement as a terrorist organization amid a spike in militant attacks that have killed dozens of policemen and soldiers.
But decapitated and driven underground, the Islamist movement is believed to have radicalised with members adopting militant tactics against policemen.