Turkey's Ministry of Foreign Affairs has condemned an Egyptian court’s decision to impose the death penalty on ousted Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi.
"We regretfully condemn the death penalty decision on President Mohammed Morsi, who was popularly elected as president but ousted through a coup along with a hundred other people," the Foreign Ministry said in a statement Saturday.
The ministry said that the death penalty decision marked "another black stain" on Egypt since the July 2013 coup.
"It is obvious that the decision will not contribute to a permanent peace and sustainable stability that Egypt needs urgently," the ministry added.
The ministry also called on Egypt’s administration to release all political detainees and resolve issues through a dialogue process backed by people's will.
Morsi, Egypt’s first democratically-elected president, was ousted by the country’s military in July 2013 after only one year in office, following mass protests against his rule.
An Egyptian court Saturday referred 122 out of 166 defendants, including Morsi to the country's grand mufti to consider possible death sentences against them over charges of jailbreak and espionage charges.
Morsi's family did not attend Saturday's trial session, citing "their rejection of the legitimacy of the trial."
He is the first president to be referred to the country’s grand mufti in Egypt's history. The opinion of the mufti is non-binding, but Egyptian law makes it necessary for judges to seek a religious point of view on any death sentence.
Last month, Morsi and 12 codefendants were sentenced to 20 years in prison each for allegedly mobilizing supporters to “intimidate, detain and torture” dozens of anti-Morsi protesters during clashes outside eastern Cairo's Ittihadiya presidential palace in December 2012.
Morsi currently faces multiple criminal trials on charges that include espionage and “insulting the judiciary,” charges he says are politically motivated.
Since Morsi's ouster, Egyptian security forces have launched a relentless crackdown on dissent that has targeted both Islamists and secularists, leaving hundreds dead and thousands behind bars.Anadolu Agency website contains only a portion of the news stories offered to subscribers in the AA News Broadcasting System (HAS), and in summarized form. Please contact us for subscription options.