Last month, former Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi was sentenced to death by an Egyptian court due to a 2011 jailbreak. Tuesday, the Egyptian court confirmed the ruling after a review from the Grand Mufti, the highest religious figure in Egypt. The Grand Mufti must review all death sentences in Egypt.
However, Morsi’s death sentence is still available for an appeal. Five other members of the Muslim Brotherhood had their death sentences confirmed Tuesday as well. All five were sentenced to death by hanging. The group includes Mohammed Badie, the Muslim Brotherhood’s Supreme Guide. The Egyptian government has declared the Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist organization.
The jailbreak took place in 2011 during the uprising against dictator Hosni Mubarak. Mosni and several other high-ranking Muslim Brotherhood members were behind held in the Wadi el-Natrun prison and thousands were helped to escape. An Egyptian court has found that the Muslim Brotherhood helped to coordinate the escape.
Morsi was the President of Egypt until the military removed him in 2013. Morsi was the first democratically elected President of Egypt after Mubarak was removed from power. Former Defense Minister and head of the Egyptian Armed Forces Abdel Fattah el-Sisi was elected President in 2014.
Amr Darrag, who served in Morsi’s government, said about the decision, “All of us who continue to fight for freedom, democracy and human rights in Egypt deplore today’s grave decision. It is a historical peak of the tragedy currently unfolding in Egypt.” He also added, “Our fear regarding today’s final verdict is not just about Dr. Morsi. It is about the highest symbol of democracy that is about to be crushed in blood.”
The Freedom and Justice Party, the Muslim Brotherhood’s political arm, released a statement saying, “President Morsi’s trial has fallen far below the most basic international legal standards. Today’s announcement is another nail in the coffin for democracy in Egypt. It is a culmination of almost two years of an erosion of human rights in the country since the military coup: more than 40,000 political dissents are in jail, thousands of protestors have been killed, journalists are incarcerated, torture and rape are used daily as a weapon against political prisoners.”