Egypt’s first democratically elected president and leader of the Muslim Brotherhood leader, Mohammed Mursi, has been jailed 20 years without parole on charges arising from the killing of protesters.
Mursi who was in the dock three years after winning elections, was ousted after mass protests against his rule broke out at the end of 2012 after he issued a decree that said that presidential powers would be extended. He is being tried alongside 12 other Brotherhood members.
The president and his aides deny accusations of being responsible for the deaths of 10 of the protesters in 2012. Some of those sentenced alongside Mursi say they will appeal the judgment.
Amnesty International has slammed the ruling as a “travesty of justice”, claiming Egypt’s justice system is neither independent
nor impartial, but the government of President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi – the former army chief who is accused by Mursi of carrying out a coup against him in 2013 – maintains the judiciary is independent.
Muslim Brotherhood FACTSFILE:
- The Muslim Brotherhood was founded in Ismailia, Egypt by Hassan al-Banna in March 1928 as an Islamist religious, political, and social movement
- Despite a succession of government crackdowns in 1948, 1954, 1965, the organisation remains the largest, best-organized, and most disciplined political opposition force
- Following the 2011 Egyptian revolution the group was legalized, and in April 2011 it launched a civic political party called the Freedom and Justice Party to contest
- elections 4. In 2012, 2012 the party contested the presidential election, and its candidate, Mursi became Egypt’s first democratically elected president
- One year later, following massive demonstrations, Mursi was overthrown by the military and arrested 6. Startingfrom2014,theorganizationhasbeendeclared a terrorist group and is once again suffering a severe crackdown