The Washington Post reports: An Egyptian court in the southern city of Minya sentenced 683 people to death Monday in the most recent of a series of mass trials that have alarmed the international community, nine months after a military coup ousted Egypt’s first democratically elected president.
The ruling came one month after 529 people were sentenced to death in a similar mass trial in the same courtroom, and it coincided with Egyptian Foreign Minister Nabil Fahmy’s visit to Washington to meet with Secretary of State John F. Kerry in an effort to smooth relations between the United States and one of its most significant Middle East allies.
The defendants, all alleged supporters of ousted president Mohamed Morsi, included Mohammed Badie, the “supreme guide” of Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood, which captured the lion’s share of votes in the country’s first democratic parliamentary and presidential elections in 2012. If the sentence is upheld, Badie would be the first Brotherhood leader to face execution in nearly 50 years. [Continue reading…]