Outrage over Death Sentence of 529 Muslim Brotherhood Supporters

By Cartoonist Ternz
By cartoonist (Ternz)
By cartoonist Ternz

Monday’s news about the simultaneous death sentences of 529 Islamist supporters – reportedly the largest capital punishment sentence handed down by a court for a single case in Egypt’s modern history – has prompted outrage.

Whether it’s about eliminating the opposition or enforcing peace, no justification can be validated within a mere two-day trial.

Relatives of MB supporters sentenced to death, sitting outside the courtroom in Minya after the court announced the mass death sentence (AFP/Getty Images)
Relatives of MB supporters sitting outside the courtroom in Minya after the court announced the mass death sentence (AFP/Getty Images)

Families are in agony, the public is in shock and numerous humanitarian groups have expressed concerns regarding how the trial is being handled.

Several defense attorneys complained about the speed of how everything was progressing. In the first session, the judge reportedly refused any requests by lawyers for more time to review the case.

“We didn’t have the chance to say a word or to look at more than 3,000 pages of investigation to see what evidence they are talking about,” said Attorney Khaled el-Koumi.

And the Twitterverse didn’t keep quiet either, with a flood of angry tweets expressing frustration about the full-swing crackdown on the Muslim Brotherhood.

Among the tweets that spoke the loudest:

“If the judge in al-Minya applied the same concept of ‘justice’ for protestors, then he’d put Egypt’s entire security apparatus on death row.” – ‏@DiabolicalIdea

“Can’t imagine how you would even hang 529 people. If it just took 5 mins to hang 1 person that’s over 44 hours of continuous slaughter #Egypt” – @Beltrew

“To investigate if the 529 people were actually #MB in the first place would take more than a session.” – ‏@weskandar

Let’s imagine the scenario: The frustrated judge, 123 defendants and defense lawyers, among others, in a crowded courtroom with only one thing in mind – to wrap this up and leave. But neither the “wrapping” nor the “leaving” led to a digestible solution.

Only 16 were acquitted, while the remaining 529 defendants were sentenced to death, with some having escaped, while others were released or on bail. Meanwhile, appeals are still possible – the only silver lining for defense lawyers to have their pleas heard.

Regardless of how this situation escalates from now onwards, the political nature of Egypt’s courts has always tilted more towards ugly than fair – see: all the human rights violations by the security forces that have been ignored.

Until this very day, no one has been held accountable for the deaths of peaceful protesters or the torture of prisoners. Sad to say, but most deaths so far have been taken as “collateral damage”.

This mass death sentence only marks the beginning of the process for all 1,200 Muslim Brotherhood supporters on trial, with the second half consisting of 683 people who will face their daunting fate on Mar. 25.


WE SAID THIS: Is this what justice looks like?

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