[JURIST] A group of UN human rights experts for the expressed their anger [press release] Monday after an Egyptian court confirmed the death sentences of 183 people [JURIST report]. According to the UN, all of the defendants were alleged supporters of ex-president Mohammed Morsi and his party the Muslim Brotherhood [party website]. The experts noted that the credibility of the Egyptian court system may have been compromised, stating “[w]e are deeply concerned that the courts have become instrumental in the arbitrary and politically motivated prosecutions by the State, which may also be discriminatory against people on the basis of religion or belief.” The experts urged the Egyptian government to impose a moratorium on all death sentences.
Conflict between supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood and the new Egyptian government has been ongoing since Morsi was ousted [JURIST report] last year. Last week an Egyptian court sentenced [JURIST report] two Al Jazeera journalists to seven years in prison and one to 10 years in prison, sparking international outcry. Earlier this month a top Muslim Brotherhood official was sentenced to death for inciting violence, and another 12 people were sentenced to death [JURIST reports] for the killing of a police general.