Egypt has strongly condemned Turkey’s “interference” in its judicial affairs. The criticism came in response to a comment by the Turkish Foreign Ministry on life imprisonment and death sentences handed to leaders and members of the Muslim Brotherhood on Saturday.
In a statement, the Egyptian Foreign Ministry expressed its condemnation Sunday of the “unacceptable interference” in Egyptian judiciary affairs.
The Turkish Foreign Ministry had itself strongly condemned the sentences handed out in the ‘Operation Room’ case, in which 14 were sentenced to death and 37 to life imprisonment. The Turkish Foreign Ministry said the sentences “constitute the latest instance of sentencing following politically motivated trials conducted in Egypt since July 2013”.
Turkey’s Foreign Ministry also said the sentences were reached following legal proceedings that are “far from meeting international standards”. It added, in a statement, that the sentences “will not contribute to lasting social peace and stability in Egypt”.
The Cairo Criminal Court sentenced on 11 April 37 defendants to life imprisonment, among them three journalists and US-Egyptian citizen Mohamed Soltan, who has been on hunger strike for over 420 days.
The court also ratified death sentences against 14 others in the Muslim Brotherhood’s “Operations Room” case, among them the Brotherhood’s Supreme Guide Mohamed Badie.
Egypt’s Prosecutor General Hisham Barakat had referred the detainees to the Criminal Court in February 2014. They were charged with “forming an operations room to direct the terrorist Muslim Brotherhood to defy the government during the Rabaa Al-Adaweya sit-in dispersal, and to spread chaos in the country”. The defendants have been on trial since April 2014.
Egypt’s Foreign Ministry reiterated its “full rejection” of interference from any country in Egypt’s judicial affairs and their “disrespect” of any Egyptian court’s verdicts.
The US administration has also criticised Egypt’s Criminal Court’s life sentence against Soltan, and called on the Egyptian government to “redress” the verdict.