Disappointment with the Egyptian judiciary system heated up a few months ago as Mubarak was acquitted of criminal charges. Many called it the end, or even the nullification of the 2011 Egyptian Revolution. What could only be described as salt to the wound, the death penalty was handed to Mohammed Morsi, Egypt’s first democratically elected president, who was ousted in July 2013 following mass protests against his leadership of the country.
The former president, who has been already charged with accounts of ordering the arrest of protestors and sentenced to 20 years in prison, has been charged alongside 105 others with the death penalty for a mass prison break in 2011. The death sentence comes in light of a crackdown on Islamists and left-wing groups in Egypt. It is now down to the Grand Mufti of Egypt to issue a final verdict, which is thought to be planned for 2nd June.
The bleak outcome for Morsi has caused international condemnation of the Egyptian Judiciary, with Amnesty International calling the entire trial “farcical” and the Turkish Prime Minister, Erdogan, one of the first to condemn the verdict. Many have taken to social media to express their disappointment with the trial and the sentence, particularly in the wake of Mubarak’s acquittal just a few months ago.
The Egyptian Revolution, which once held a beacon of hope for the Middle East and was declared the inauguration of democracy in countries previously ruled by tyrants and dictators, now symbolises a disenchanted episode in history. The result is a system that has let a dictator of over 30 years walk away free despite evidence of corruption and criminal offences. Sentencing a democratically-elected president on a post-hoc basis in order to eliminate certain groups only punishes its own citizens who once gathered in Tahrir Square, fighting for their basic human rights and freedom. To condemn a man to death on the grounds of ‘escaping prison and deliberating with foreign groups’, whilst the blood of the martyrs of the revolution remains fresh and unavenged, highlights naught but a complete disregard to basic human rights and to the core principle of justice itself.
By penalising a democratically elected former president to death exemplifies that democracy in its entirety has been sentenced to death in Egypt.