Egypt's Morsi on trial for 'insulting' judiciary

Published May 23rd, 2015 - 03:40 GMT
Morsi was removed from power in 2013. (AFP/File)
Morsi was removed from power in 2013. (AFP/File)

Egypt’s ousted president, Mohamed Morsi, and 25 others are on trial in a Cairo court for ‘insulting’ the judiciary.

Last week, the first democratically-elected president of Egypt was sentenced to death in connection to a mass prison break during the 2011 uprising that toppled the longtime Egyptian dictator, Hosni Mubarak.

The Saturday trial is the fifth judicial proceeding in Morsi’s case since he was removed from power in July 2013 by the then head of the armed forces, Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, the current president of the country.

Morsi’s supporters say the officials and judges running the judiciary are loyalist to and remnants of the Mubarak regime and are taking revenge on the revolutionary forces that toppled the dictator.

Morsi himself arose from the ranks of the Muslim Brotherhood. However, among the defendants on trial for the alleged insulting there are also activists hailing from the secular segment of the Egyptian society.

A top secular activist, Alaa Abdel Fattah, who organized many of the protests leading to the downfall of the Mubarak regime, is one of those being tried in Cairo on Saturday on the ‘insulting’ allegation.

Another defendant is Amr Hamzawy, a renowned professor of political science and a former member of parliament.

A fourth defendant from the secular segment is a human rights lawyer by the name of Amir Salem.

The government in Egypt, led by President Sisi, has been carrying out a systematic crackdown on dissidents, particularly the supporters of Morsi. The harsh crackdown has left hundreds of Morsi supporters killed, many sentenced to death after speedy mass trials, and thousands more jailed in a move the United Nations humanitarian watchdog has described as “unprecedented in recent history.”

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