State Dept Condemns Egypt Death Sentences

‘The implementation of these sentences would be unconscionable’

The State Department heightened its criticism of Egypt on Tuesday over mass trials targeting the Muslim Brotherhood, and said it would be "unconscionable" for Egypt's government to carry out the death sentences given to 529 members of the outlawed Islamist group.

The sentences were linked to clashes between Muslim Brotherhood supporters and state security forces last August in Egypt’s southern province of Minya. Egyptian forces have killed hundreds of Brotherhood members and arrested thousands since the army ousted former president and Brotherhood leader Mohammed Morsi last July.

"The imposition of the death penalty for 529 defendants after a two-day summary proceeding cannot be reconciled with Egypt's obligations under international human rights law, and its implementation of these sentences would be unconscionable," said State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf.

"We are making clear to the Egyptian government that these verdicts cannot be allowed to stand," Harf added.