The Guardian reports: A judge in southern Egypt has taken just two court sessions to sentence to death 529 supporters of Mohamed Morsi for the murder of a single police officer.
Sixteen people were acquitted after lawyers said they had not been allowed to present a proper defence before the judgment was made.
The defendants were arrested last August during a wave of unrest in which supporters of the former president react violently to the clearance of a pro-Morsi sit-in in Cairoduring which more than 900 people were killed. In addition to the murder, the 529 were accused of attempting to kill two other police officers and attacking a police station.
The death sentences are not final and appeals are likely; similar sentences have often been commuted in Egypt. But families of the accused and rights lawyers described the process as a miscarriage of justice.
Waleed Sultan, whose father was among those sentenced to death, said: “Nothing can describe this scandal. This is not a judicial sentence, this is thuggery.”
He added: “The session last[ed] for five minutes, [and] during those five minutes none of the lawyers or the defendants were listened to – not even the prosecution. The judge just came in to acquit [the 16] and sentence to death the others.” [Continue reading…]
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