In 2013, there was a sit-in in Rabaa al-Adawiya Square, located in Cairo, Egypt. The event occurred on August 4th, and it was violently ended by police forces. Approximately 600 individuals were killed in the process of dispersion.

The sit-in was intended to protest Mohammed Morsi. Morsi, the former Egyptian President, has been associated with the Muslim Brotherhood. After an influx of protests regarding Morsi’s one year rule, the military finally removed him from his position of power.

Six months after this event, the Egyptian Government stated that the Muslim Brotherhood was a terrorist group. This lead to hundreds of arrests of those affiliated with the Brotherhood. Many of those arrested were given death sentences.

The sentences were given by the Grand Mufti, Egypt’s top theological authority, after being referred by the Cairo Criminal Court. Although the formality of the sentencing carried out expresses a nonbinding opinion in the norm of capital cases, there exists a small chance of the sentences being reversed under the guise of the judge’s discretion.

The 75 defendants have not all been fully detained. Approximately 40 of the people arrested are now in jail, whereas approximately 30 are still at large.

Typically, the way that the Egyptian court organizes its sentences for fugitives is complicated by the influence of temporary state law. To compensate for these complications, fugitives are often given severe sentences.

In total, 750 people are involved in this case. This figure includes the Muslim Brotherhood’s Supreme Guide, Mohammed Badie, and the famous photojournalist Mahmoud Abu Zeid.

Throughout the years, Mahmoud Abu Zeid has been known to narrowly escape such predicaments. Abu Zeid was immensely grateful when he was told that the death sentence would not be applied to him. Mahmoud, a 53-year-old American auto-parts dealer from New York, was also saved from an unfortunate demise. Although Mahmoud has evaded the most severe punishment, he will still have to appear in court on September 8th for his alleged involvement in the sit-in.

Many international rights organizations have gathered information on the way Egyptian authorities have dealt with potential terror threats and cult amassed organizations with political and religious influence. Egypt’s mass trials have been criticized repeatedly throughout the years by many other nation-states.


Featured Image via Wikimedia Commons