Turkish PM slams Egypt for Brotherhood death penalties

PM Erdogan criticized the West for being silent over the sentencing to death of 529 Muslim Brotherhood members in Egypt.

Turkish PM slams Egypt for Brotherhood death penalties

World Bulletin / News Desk

Turkish PM Recep Tayyip Erdogan has condemned Egypt for sentencing 529 Muslim Brotherhood to death penalties and criticized the West for being silent over the penalties.

Following his rallies in the northern Turkish cities of Trabzon and Ordu ahead of local elections this weekend, Erdogan addressed crowds of people in the capital, Ankara, on Monday saying, "Those who call us 'dictator' should look at Egypt."

"They have sentenced 529 Muslim Brotherhood members to the death penalty. The death penalty does not comply with EU human rights laws and rules - then why is Europe so silent against the decision?"

Touching on the Turkish government's temporary ban on Twitter, Erdogan said that the court had asked Twitter to cooperate with it to prevent violations of personal rights, but it had been reluctant to obey Turkish laws.

MASS KILLING

Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood has described Monday's death sentences against 529 supporters of ousted president Mohamed Morsi as "a new mass killing."

"The military coup… has used the judiciary to commit a new mass killing," the Brotherhood said in a Monday statement.

The group went on to assert that the death sentences "aim to strip the revolution of its peaceful character."

A criminal court in the Upper Egyptian province of Minya on Monday sentenced a total of 529 Morsi supporters to death while acquitting 16 others.

The defendants, including 397 tried in absentia, were convicted of committing acts of violence in Minya last August after security forces in Cairo and Giza violently dispersed two pro-Morsi sit-ins, leaving hundreds of protesters dead.

The court has since referred the sentences to the grand mufti – Egypt's top religious official – for approval.

The Brotherhood has also criticized the "speedy pace" of the trial.

"The judge hasn't heard witnesses or allowed lawyers to defend the accused. He issued his ruling in only five minutes," the group said.

"These rulings will only make the revolutionaries more determined to stay the course, topple the coup and bring those who wronged the people to justice," the Brotherhood declared.

JORDAN BROTHERHOOD ISSUES WARNING

Jordan's Muslim Brotherhood warned Monday that death sentences handed down against 529 supporters of ousted Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi would only serve to deepen divisions in Egypt.

"The death sentences reflect the depth of the crisis that the coup finds itself in and its current state of confusion and bankruptcy," the Jordanian Brotherhood said in a statement.

"The verdicts risk deepening the divisions in Egyptian society and will have repercussions on regional peace and security," the group added.

It went on to argue that the verdicts showed that "what happened on July 3 [2013] – when the military unseated Morsi – was nothing less than a military coup."

Last Mod: 25 Mart 2014, 09:34
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