Egypt sentences eight Muslim Brotherhood leaders to death

Former leaders of outlawed group Mohammed Badie and Mahmoud Ezzat among those condemned by Cairo court

The Muslim Brotherhood's former supreme guide Mohamed Badie in court in Cairo. AFP
Powered by automated translation

A Cairo court on Monday sentenced to death by hanging eight members of the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood group, including the group's former supreme guide Mohammed Badie, court officials confirmed to The National.

Mr Badie was the eighth Supreme Guide of the Muslim Brotherhood and led the group between 2010 and 2013, when he was arrested during the military-led uprising against the Brotherhood-supported government that ushered in the current President, Abdel Fattah El Sisi.

Mr Badie's successor Mahmoud Ezzat, who became the Brotherhood's acting general guide in 2013 until his arrest in 2020, has also been sentenced to death.

The other men sentenced to death were members of the guidance bureau of the Freedom and Justice Party, the political party backed by the Muslim Brotherhood whose candidate Mohamed Morsi became Egypt’s president in 2012 after widespread protests led to the fall of the dictator Hosni Mubarak and democratic elections.

The others sentenced to death are FJP secretary-general Mohamed El Beltagy; Osama Yassin, a minister under Mr Morsi; the pro-Morsi preacher Safwat Hegazy,; the former MP Amr Zaki; and bureau members Essam Abdel Majed and Muhamad Abdel Maqsoud.

The men were charged in a high-profile court case after they organised a massive sit-in in Cairo's Rabaa Al Adaweya Square, in the district of Nasr City, in protest against the removal of Mr Morsi from power.

After six weeks of protest, the Egyptian military dispersed the protest. Hundreds were killed in the dispersal.

The eight men were sentenced on various charges of conspiring to topple the government of President El Sisi and of plotting to sow discord and “national disunity” by holding the sit-in, and sustaining it to prevent the country’s “authorities and its constitution" from governing, read the court ruling against the defendants.

The defendants will have the right to appeal the ruling.

The case has since 2013 been rebranded by Egyptian state media as the "Al Manasa case" as the sit-in was held a few hundred metres from the site of the same name where Egypt's former president Anwar Sadat was assassinated during a military parade in 1981.

The square where the sit-in was held has also since been renamed.

On Monday in the same case 37 other defendants were sentenced to life in prison, six were sentenced to 15 years of hard labour, and 21 were acquitted of all charges, officials confirmed.

State security agencies under Mr El Sisi, who came to power in 2013 after Mr Morsi was ousted, have implemented an intense crackdown on the Brotherhood.

Hundreds of people have been arrested since 2013 and rights groups have denounced the execution of prisoners.

Muslim Brotherhood figures have led a media campaign against Mr El Sisi's government from abroad.

For his part, Mr El Sisi has often publicly blamed the Brotherhood, and its foreign Islamist partners, for intentionally inciting disorder in Egypt in an attempt to topple his government and return to power in Egypt.

Updated: March 04, 2024, 6:28 PM