Death sentences and prison terms issued against peaceful protesters who stood up against the ouster of the democratically elected Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi are a “miscarriage of judge” and “unfair”, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet said.
If carried out, the sentences would represent a gross and irreversible miscarriage of justice
Bachelet said in a statement.
Her comments came in response to the death penalty issued against 75 Egyptian defendants and jail terms handed to at least 600 others, the UN official urged the Egyptian Court of Cassation, the highest court in the country, to dismiss these sentences.
International human rights organisations have condemned the death sentences issued against protesters by the Egyptian judiciary over recent years. Amnesty described the death sentences as “disgraceful”.
On Wednesday, the Egyptian court also sentenced 47 defendants to life imprisonment, 374 defendants were sentenced to 15 years in prison, Osama Mohamed Morsi, the son of the former president, was sentenced to ten years, 22 were jailed for the same period, and journalist Mahmoud Abu Zaid was sentenced to five years’ imprisonment.
Defendants have the right to appeal, many have already been held in jail for five years awaiting their trials.