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Egypt: Five years after President Morsi's overthrow by military junta

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Five year after the overthrow of first democratically elected President Mohammad Morsi on July 3, 2013, Egyptian President, Field Marshall Abd al-Fattah al-Sisi's government continues to rule with worst human rights violations as police systematically used torture, arbitrary arrests, and enforced disappearances to silence political dissent.

Egypt's human rights crisis continued unabated, says Amnesty International. "The authorities used torture and other ill-treatment and enforced disappearance against hundreds of people, and dozens were extrajudicially executed with impunity."

The crackdown on civil society escalated with NGO staff being subjected to additional interrogations, travel bans and asset freezes. Arbitrary arrests and detentions followed by grossly unfair trials of government critics, peaceful protesters, journalists and human rights defenders were routine, the Amnesty International said adding: Mass unfair trials continued before civilian and military courts, with dozens sentenced to death. Women continued to be subjected to sexual and gender-based violence and were discriminated against in law and practice.

Morsi spends his fifth year in prison

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Egypt's first democratically elected president Mohamed Morsi spends his fifth year behind bars since he was ousted by the military in a coup in 2013.

He was tried in six cases; a mass jailbreak, murder, spying for Qatar, espionage with Palestinian group Hamas and Lebanese group Hezbollah, insulting the judiciary and terrorism.

"Verdicts against Morsi are politically-motivated," Alaa Abdulmunsif, head of Salam Organization for Protection of Human Rights, told Anadolu Agency. "The regime wants to get rid of him," he said.

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In June 2016, an Egyptian court placed Morsi on the country's official list of "terrorists" for three years.

In the same year, the Court of Cassation, Egypt's highest appellate court, upheld a 20-year jail term against Morsi on charges of murder during deadly clashes between supporters and opponents outside the Ittihadiya presidential palace in 2012.

Morsi, along four other Brotherhood leaders, was also sentenced to death for alleged involvement in a mass jailbreak in 2011 during a popular uprising that swept former autocrat Hosni Mubarak from power.

However, the Court of Cassation overturned the verdicts and ordered a retrial in 2016.

Morsi was slapped with a life sentence for allegedly spying for Qatar. He was also sentenced to three years in prison for offending the judiciary.

The former president is also standing a retrial on charges of a mass jailbreak and espionage with Hamas.

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Saeed Sadek, professor of political sociology at the American University in Cairo, was quoted by Anadolu Agency as saying that Morsi's trials are the result of "political competition". "How come those who overthrew him would set him free" he asked.

Sadek ruled out any reconciliation between the Egyptian regime and the Muslim Brotherhood in the near future. "The regime now is very strong and will not look into reconciliation with the Muslim Brotherhood," he said.

Egyptian Kangaroo Courts

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Author and journalist. Author of Islamic Pakistan: Illusions & Reality; Islam in the Post-Cold War Era; Islam & Modernism; Islam & Muslims in the Post-9/11 America. Currently working as free lance journalist. Executive Editor of American (more...)
 

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