- The Washington Times - Monday, April 28, 2014

The White House said Monday it is “deeply troubled” by Egypt’s death sentences in a mass trial for 683 defendants who supported the nation’s ousted former president.

The administration said the verdict “defies even the most basic standards of international justice.”

“While judicial independence is a vital part of democracy, this verdict cannot be reconciled with Egypt’s obligations under international human rights law,” the White House said in a statement. “Egyptian leaders must take a stand against this illogical action and dangerous precedent, recognizing that the repression of peaceful dissent will fuel the instability and radicalization that Egypt says it wishes to prevent.”

Just last week, the administration resumed delivery of Apache attack helicopters to Egypt and released half of the $1.3 billion a year in military aid that was halted last year. Secretary of State John F. Kerry certified that Egypt is abiding by its peace treaty with Israel and combating terrorism, although he stopped short of verifying that Egypt is moving toward a democracy, the third step required for U.S. aid to flow.

The defendants were alleged supporters of the country’s ousted Islamist president and included the Muslim Brotherhood’s spiritual leader, Mohamed Badie. The trial on Monday and a similar trial in March stemmed from deadly riots that erupted in Egypt after security forces violently disbanded protests held by Brotherhood supporters in Cairo.

The White House said it is urging the Egyptian government to stop the use of mass trials, reverse the mass sentences “and ensure that every citizen is afforded due process.”



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