CAIRO: Muslim Brotherhood supporters organized a protest on Tuesday in front of Amnesty International Organization in New York denouncing the death sentences handed down on 529 Muslim Brotherhood members, reported Youm7.
On Monday, Minya Criminal Court sentenced 529 supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood to death on charges of murdering Mostafa El-Attar, the deputy commander of the Mattay Police Station in Minya.
The protestors called on the Egyptian government for the retrial for those sentenced to death. A delegation from the Amnesty International met the protestors to discuss their demands.
Amnesty International issued a statement following the ruling on Monday, referring to it as a “grotesque example of the shortcomings and the selective nature of Egypt’s justice system.”
Head of the Islamic Center in New Jersey Ahmed Shadid told Youm7 Tuesday that they are protesting the death sentences handed down to 529 Muslim Brotherhood members, adding that the court should not implement such a verdict unless there is strong and clear evidence.
“The Ruling was shocking for everyone,” Shadid said, noting that this verdict will create a sense of resenmtment among Egyptians, who could respond through violence in order to express their anger.
“We are deeply concerned — and, I would say, actually pretty shocked — by the sentencing to death of 529 Egyptians related to the death of one policeman,” Marie Harf, deputy US State Department spokesperson said in Monday statement, describing this huge number of rulings as shocking, MENA reported.
However, Harf also said the United States still considers its ties with Egypt to be important and added, “We don’t want to completely cut off the relationship,” Reuters reported Tuesday.
The convicts wer charged with killing the police officer and attempting the murder of two others, as well as attacking public property, torching the Mattay Police Station, seizing police weapons and disrupting public order.
Director of the Arab Network for Human Rights Information Gamal Eid described the court’s verdict to Ahram Online as “a disaster” and “a scandal” for Egypt.
“This court ruling will be overturned as soon as the defendants demand a retrial,” Nasser Amin, a member of the semi-governmental National Council for Human Rights said on his official Twitter account.
It is customary for defendants to receive the utmost sentence when tried in absentia, though of the 529, 382 were in absentia, while the remainder were present, and only 17 were acquitted. However, the sentence is automatically reconsidered once the defendant is caught.