Egypt Hands Down Another Death Sentence to Muslim Brotherhood Leaders

Il generale e il presidente dell'Egitto, Abdel Fattah al-Sisi

As peace talks in Gaza continue to struggle in Cairo, Egypt’s state security criminal court has handed down new death sentences to eight leaders of the Islamist political movement, as well as Hamas’s ideological ally, the Muslim Brotherhood. Among them are the so-called “supreme leader,” 80-year-old Mohammed Badie, and his successor Mahmoud Ezzat.

Under the laws of this North African country, six other political leaders “will be hanged” along with Badie and Ezzat: Mohamed El-Beltagy, Amr Mohamed Zaki, Osama Yassin, Safwat Hegazy, Assem Abdel Majed, and Muhammad Abdel Maqsoud.

The standoff between Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi and the Muslim Brotherhood has been ongoing since 2013. Then the military, under the command of Marshal al-Sisi, overthrew the now deceased President Mohamed Mursi, linked to the Muslim Brotherhood.

The charges against the defendants were very serious. The prosecutor accused them of “illegally forming an association to undermine Egypt’s constitution and state institutions, preventing public officials from carrying out their activities, and undermining the personal freedom of citizens, harming national unity and social peace.” The prosecutor’s office also accused the defendants of attempting to change the regime by force, of attacking individuals and structures of the armed forces, police, and social organizations, of supplying terrorist groups with weapons, ammunition, and incendiary devices, as well as of organizing meetings with unknown persons with the aim of committing premeditated assassinations for terrorist purposes and with the use of force and violence.

This is not the first time the supreme leader of the Muslim Brotherhood has been sentenced to the maximum punishment under Egyptian law. It should be noted, however, that the execution of the death penalty in Egypt is subject to a binding decision by the Al Azhar Islamic Center, the supreme body of Sunni Islam based in Cairo.