Authorities in Egypt have recently announced the sentencing of about 700 citizens to death. The recent ruling has since sparked a controversial firestorm, not just within the nation, but worldwide.
The sentence comes out of Minya where 683 alleged members of the Muslim Brotherhood have been ordered to death. A similar ruling that occurred just in March was recently overturned in which 492 of 529 inmates are now expected to spend life in prison.
The men face charges of defying their government and are being held accountable for the murder and attempted murder of police officers during the riots on August 14. The irony in all of this is that only 73 of the condemned 683 people are actually in custody – the rest are hiding from the government.
In an attempt to bribe those hiding into turning themselves in, authorities have promised a mistrial if they willingly come in. The ruling has since been dubbed, “Industrial scale,” sentencing.
Many people view this as a violation of the nation’s law as it didn’t allow for those convicted to a fair defense. After the rulings, several people spoke out on the matter and ended up being a sort of protest where the crowd was shouting in unison, “Where is the justice?”
One 25-year-old that is on the list recently ordered to suffer the death penalty expressed, “This is a political trial against those who oppose the military. My cousin has also been condemned, but we will continue our lives and this process will not stop the youths.”
The Muslim Brotherhood has even spoken out, as they addressed the public saying that the case was a, “gross human rights violations and injustice committed by the military junta in Egypt against its own people.”
Furthermore, they explained that they will, “continue to use all peaceful means to end military rule and achieve justice.”
Riiiight – because we all know how peaceful the Muslim Brotherhood is.
Either way, the world has since caught wind of the government’s actions and are beginning to ban together in effort to condemn such behavior. Speaking the loudest is Amnesty International who noted, “Egypt’s judiciary risks becoming just another part of the authorities’ repressive machinery, issuing sentences of death and life imprisonment on an industrial scale.”
Lawyer Elkomy, for the defense, explains that at least 60% of the 683 convicted, some of whom were doctors and teachers, have proof “they were not present the day they were accused of attacking the Matay police station.”
The prosecution, backed fully by the government, is standing firm in their decision as Prosecutor Abdel Malek mentioned, “We have strong evidence that incriminates all those sentenced to death.”
So what do you think – does a government have the right to mass-sentence citizens to death, or does everyone have the right to an individualized and specific trial? Let us know in the comments below.