By Tim Nanns
After the verdict against former president Mohamed Morsi and 12 other defendants, Amnesty International condemned Tuesday the trial as a “travesty of justice”.
The international rights watchdog also demanded “a fair re-trial in a civilian court” or his release.
Hassiba Hadj Sahraoui, Deputy Middle East and North Africa Director at Amnesty International, said the verdict “shatters any remaining illusion of independence and impartiality in Egypt’s criminal justice system”. He also called “a string of irregularities” along with “fundamental flaws in the legal process and […] at best flimsy evidence” as reasons for the harsh judgment of the trial.
The international human rights organisation listed several flaws in the trial, mentioning that Morsi was detained in conditions “amounting to an enforced disappearance”. While undergoing questioning during that time without a lawyer, his defence team only received access to the case file “after making a substantial payment just days before the trial began”. The leading defence lawyer was only allowed to meet with Morsi only after the trial had already begun.
Amnesty also criticised the investigations preceding the trial as “neither independent nor impartial”, accusing the Public Prosecution of solely focusing on the atrocities committed by Morsi’s supporters while “ignoring violence by their opponents”. Amnesty stated that its own research found the majority of those killed “were actually supporters of the then-president”.
In a statement issued to Daily News Egypt on Sunday, the Egyptian Foreign Ministry commented on the international criticism against the country’s mass trials. The statement said that verdicts in Egypt are “issued by efficient, competent and fully independent judicial bodies”, strongly disputing any criticism against the judiciary system.
The ministry also accused outside parties of “flagrant interference in the internal affairs of Egypt”, saying their comments are “highly politicised”.