Global human rights watchdog Amnesty International slammed Egypt Saturday over its decision to sentence more than 180 Muslim Brotherhood members to death, according to Agence France Presse.
Amnesty's Deputy Director for the Middle East and North Africa Hassiba Hadj Sahraoui told AFP, ""In recent months Egyptian courts appear to have handed out death sentences at the drop of a hat...The death penalty is being ruthlessly deployed as a tool to eliminate political opponents [and] these executions are a big step backwards for human rights in Egypt. The Egyptian judiciary has lost any semblance of impartiality and credibility."
Sahraoui also called on the Egyptian authorities to "quash" the death sentences and "order a fair retrial."
The Minya court originally sentenced 683 people to death, but acquited 496. Out of the remaining 187, 180 will face the death penalty, according to AFP.
Among those convicted includes the Muslim Brotherhood's Supreme Guide Mohamed Badie.
The convicted are accused of the killing and attempted murder of policemen in Minya on August 14, the same day that police authorities killed hundreds of Muslim Brotherhood and pro-Morsi supporters in clashes in the country's capital.