The United States warned Egypt that executing supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood may affect the aid that Washington provides to Cairo.
“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, as I said, would be unconscionable,” Deputy State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf stressed, according to AFP.
Harf made clear that the way Egypt proceeds regarding the trials and death sentences will have consequences for future American aid. The United States previously announced it would cut hundreds of millions of dollars in aid to Egypt over its displeasure with the military’s pace of restoring democracy following the ouster of Muslim Brotherhood president Mohammed Morsi.
U.S. law forbids sending aid to countries where a democratic government was deposed by a military coup, though Washington has never qualified Morsi’s ouster as a “coup”.
Meanwhile on Tuesday, the trial of a further 682 Islamists began, among them the Brotherhood’s spiritual leader, Mohammed Badie, who was arrested last August after a brief spell in hiding.