Ban Ki Moon expresses concern over Egypt's death sentences
UN Secretary General Ban Ki moon has expressed his “strong concerns” over the mass death sentences delivered to hundreds of supporters of Egypt’s ousted President Mohamed Morsi.
Ban raised his concern over the issue during a Wednesday meeting with Egyptian Foreign Minister Nabil Fahmy in Brussels on the sidelines of a European Union-African summit.
"The secretary general conveyed to the minister his strong concerns regarding the mass death penalty sentences announced recently, as well as the detention of journalists," Ban's press office said in a statement.
Last month, an Egyptian court sentenced 529 supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood to death.
International bodies and human rights groups denounced the ruling as a grotesque example of the shortcomings of Egypt's justice system.
The UN Human Rights Council recently expressed concern over the Egyptian security forces’ heavy-handed crackdown and the killing of peaceful anti-government protesters.
Egypt has been experiencing unrelenting violence since the country’s first democratically-elected president was ousted on July 3, 2013.
In November, the military-backed authorities passed a law banning all but police-sanctioned protests. Since then, hundreds of anti-government protesters have been jailed for breaking the law.
Figures show Egypt’s military-backed government has jailed nearly 16,000 people over the past few months.
Anti-government demonstrators have been holding rallies almost on a daily basis, demanding that Morsi be reinstated.
Rights groups say at least 1,400 people have been killed in the violence since the ouster of Morsi, “most of them due to excessive force used by security forces.”