Sinn Féin’s spokesperson on Foreign Affairs, Seán Crowe TD, has criticised the decision of an Egyptian court to sentence 529 members of the Muslim Brotherhood to death.
Crowe said that the proceedings lacked any semblance of fairness with defence lawyers being barred from the court and not allowed to introduce evidence or cross examine State witnesses.
Deputy Seán Crowe said:
“I am very disturbed by the reports surrounding this trial, its death sentence ruling, and the mass sentencing of 529 defendants.
“Capital punishment is rightly condemned by human rights groups around the world and it should be outlawed in all countries.
“It seems this trial lacked any semblance of fairness, was deeply flawed, and was never about justice.
“Reports from human rights groups have stated that the judge didn’t even attempt to listen to any of the defence lawyers, denied them access at times to the courtroom, denied them access or time to question witnesses, and that the fast track procedure has no precedent in Egyptian judicial history.
“The interim unelected Egyptian authorities have cracked down harshly on the Muslim Brotherhood since former President Mohamed Morsi was removed by a military coup in July. Hundreds have been killed and thousands more arrested by the regime.
“This latest show trial and its rubber stamp verdicts should be condemned by anyone who supports democracy and who values the concept of jurisprudence, and the basic right to a fair trial.
“This death sentence verdict now goes to Egypt’s supreme religious authority for its approval or rejection with the 529 defendants having to appear for a final session on April 28th.
“The Egyptian authorities and its judiciary need to stop using capital punishment as part of its repressive arsenal, stop these sham proceedings, and allow defendants new and impartial independent trials.”