Muslim Brotherhood-backed former Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi has been sentenced to 20 years in prison. The Muslim Brotherhood organization founded the Gaza-based Hamas terror organization that now is generously patronized by Iran.
Morsi was held responsible by an Egyptian court for the torture of protesters outside the presidential palace in December 2012. He stood trial with 14 co-defendants, including some of his staff.
All 14 co-defendants were convicted on charges of violence and inciting violence. However, all were acquitted of murder, as was the former president.
Morsi’s Freedom and Justice Party – the political wing of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt – called the trial a “travesty of justice” according to CNN. In a statement released to media, the party said, “This is a sad and terrible day in Egyptian history. Coup leaders have sentenced Mohamed Morsi to decades in prison for nothing more than championing the democratic will of the people.”
Morsi was deposed one year after taking office in a coup that was supported by more than one million protesters in the streets of Egypt. His Islamist administration, which also had control of both houses of parliament, came into office through a democratic electoral process that many in Egypt said was rigged. Numerous others simply refused to participate, convinced a fair process would never take place.
Turkey criticized the verdict on Wednesday in a written statement issued by its Foreign Ministry. The two countries declared each other’s ambassadors persona non grata late in 2013, after Abdel Fattah el-Sisi was elected president of Egypt in June of that year following the coup.
“We deplore the sentencing of former President Mohamed Morsi, who was ousted from his position as a result of a military coup staged in 2013 even though he was the first democratically elected president of Egypt, to 20 years in the case in which he was tried with other suspects,” the statement read.
It went on to say that “arbitrary” trials in Egypt further doubts over the objectiveness of the trial that convicted the former president and “reinforced concerns” over the future of democracy in Egypt.
“Our sincere calls for heeding the legitimate demands of the Egyptian people for a genuine democracy and rule of law continue,” it read.