EU: Morsi death sentence is a breach of international law
Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini. (AFP/Philippe Huguen)
The European Union has said it expects Egyptian authorities to revise the death penalty handed down to Egypt’s first democratically-elected president Mohamed Morsi.
EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini said in a statement Tuesday that the death penalty represented “an unacceptable denial of human dignity and integrity”.
"These sentences and procedures are in breach of Egypt's obligations under international law," Mogherini said.
The 28-nation bloc reiterated its calls on the Egyptian authorities to uphold the right to a fair trial based on clear charges and proper and independent investigations.
Morsi was sentenced on charges of espionage and a mass jailbreak incident in 2011 during demonstrations that ousted then Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak. Apart from the death penalty, he was also given a life sentence.
The Egyptian court had also sentenced five Muslim Brotherhood leaders, including the group’s head, Mohamed Badie, to death for participating in the jailbreak.
Ninety-four other co-defendants were also sentenced to the gallows, in absentia, on similar charges, including prominent Qatar-based Egyptian scholar Yusuf al-Qaradawi.
Morsi, Egypt's first-ever democratically elected president, was ousted by the military in a 2013 coup – after only one year in office – following protests against his presidency.
Since Morsi's ouster, Egyptian authorities have launched a relentless crackdown on dissent that has largely targeted Morsi supporters, leaving hundreds dead and thousands behind bars.