Turkey condemns mass death sentences in Egypt

Turkey condemns mass death sentences in Egypt

Turkey condemns mass death sentences in Egypt

Muslim Brotherhood supporters convicted of playing a role in the killings of 16 policemen in August 2013 during the upheaval that followed the army's ouster of Islamist president Mohamed Mursi, stand behind bars during their trial in Cairo, Feb. 2, 2015. REUTERS Photo

Turkey has harshly condemned an Egyptian court’s decision to sentence 183 men to death over allegations of killing 13 policemen in 2013, accusing the judiciary decision of being politically motivated.

“We strongly condemn the confirmation of the death sentences of 183 people, constituting a new contingent of mass death sentences, which has reached 1,000 people, in the framework of political decisions taken by the courts following the coup in Egypt in July 2013,” the Turkish Foreign Ministry said in a statement released on Feb. 3. 

The defendants, many of whom are supporters of ousted Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi and members of the Muslim Brotherhood group, were sentenced to death for their alleged involvement in an attack on a police station in the town of Kerdasa in August 2013.

“It is obvious that Egypt, where the number of political prisoners has risen to 20,000 since the coup in 2013, cannot reach lasting peace and stability through mass death sentences, which hurt human consciences and fall short of fair trial,” the ministry statement read.

Turkey will maintain its solidarity with the Egyptian people, it added, echoing Turkish politicians’ constant emphasis on unity with Egyptian people since Morsi’s ouster, which severely strained ties between the two countries.

Since the army deposed Morsi on July 3, 2013, at least 1,400 people have been killed in a police crackdown on protests, mostly Islamists supporting the ousted leader.

Hundreds of his supporters have been sentenced to death in swift mass trials, which the United Nations says were “unprecedented in recent history.”