Tuesday, an Egyptian court under Judge Shaaban al-Shami confirmed a death sentence that had been handed to the ousted Islamist President Mohammed Morsi. Morsi had the death sentence read to him while in a glass covered cage after al-Shami had consulted with Egypt’s Mufti, a religious authority who that the judiciary must consult with with regards to cases involving capital punishments.
Although the Mufti’s opinions are not binding, al-Shami states that “the court panel has unanimously agreed that there is no room for leniency or mercy for the defendants.” As a result, the death sentence will be upheld unless the ruling is appealed by Egypt’s highest appeals court.
Morsi’s sentencing comes after years of turmoil. On June 30, 2013, thousands of people had gathered across Egypt in an attempt to force Morsi’s resignation. On July 1 of the same year, the Egyptian Armed Forces has issued an ultimatum to Morsi to step down. Unfortunately, only other members of the government formally resigned which left the Egyptian government in the hands of President Morsi and other members of the Muslim Brotherhood, which is now considered to be a terrorist organization.
After being overthrown in 2013, Morsi faced charges involving the killings of protestors outside of his palace, espionage for foreign groups like Hezbollah and Hamas and treason, among others. So far, he has faced trial numerous times, most recently being in April of this year when the court convicted Morsi and twelve others for the arrest and torture of protesters and incitement to violence where he was handed a twenty year sentence.
Morsi is also not alone in receiving his death sentence. He and 105 others received death penalties for their roles in the Wadi el-Natrun prison break of January 2011. Morsi is still awaiting other trials for espionage, terrorism and prison break charges.