‘This is no longer about the Muslim Brotherhood, it’s repression against all Egyptians’
The option for people is to go back onto the streets, to call for democracy and for criminals to be brought to justice for the crimes they’ve committed against all Egyptians, Alaa Mohamed, a spokesperson for British Egyptians for Democracy, told RT.
RT: How is it possible that over 500 people can be sentenced to death for rioting, which actually resulted in only one death - the killing of one policeman?
Alaa Mohamed: The criminal military junta is sending a very strong message to all Egyptians that any political descent will be ruthlessly stifled. The same people who killed thousands of people in cold blood have caused another scandal today [on Monday] by sentencing over 500 people to death without any investigation over two days. The speed and the severity of the sentence is showing Egyptians that the military junta is there to kill and silence any voice of decent whatsoever in Egypt.
RT: This ruling is unprecedented in Egypt's modern history. What's been the public reaction to it?
On March 24 the Upper Egypt Court issued the death penalty on 529 supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood on charges of murder and inciting violence. The supporters of the ousted President Morsi were charged with the murder of a deputy commander of the Matay district police station during the riots that followed the dispersal of the mass Rabaa sit-in last August. Only 153 of those sentenced were in custody, while the rest were tried in absentia.
AM: Of course this is not just unprecedented in Egypt’ history. According to Amnesty International this is unprecedented in the entire world. The reaction is outrage, Egyptians have for the past eight months seen serious crimes against humanity committed by the military junta, against Egyptians from all backgrounds. All Egyptians that chose to get rid of the tyrant Mubarak are being punished for asking for democracy, for the basic rights, and so what we are seeing in Egypt at the moment is a continuation of the Arab Spring, the continuation of protests against the military junta and the military rule that has been ruling Egypt for the past 60 years.
RT: What are the Muslim Brotherhood's options now that the current Egyptian rule has shown it will resort to harsh measures and crack down on it?
AM: This is no longer about the Muslim Brotherhood. What we are seeing is repression and intimidation against all Egyptians. We’ve seen the Muslim Brotherhood in prison, we’ve seen seculars, we’ve seen liberals in prisons. Everyone is equal in front of the military. They all have put in behind bars, being killed by bullets. The option for people at the moment is to go back to the streets, to call for democracy and to call for the criminals to be brought to justice and be tried for the crimes they have committed against all Egyptians and the crimes against humanity that’s been happening on a daily basis in Egypt.
RT: First Hosni Mubarak went on trial for instigating violence, then his rule was overturned. Morsi came to power, and now he is on trial. Don't you think it is kind of a vicious circle here? And how can it be stopped really?
AM: It’s completely different to compare Mubarak and Morsi. Mubarak is a tyrant that ruled in Egypt for 30 years by using corrupt judiciary, by using brutal police. Morsi was Egypt’s first ever democratically elected president. He is in prison. His only crime is that Egyptians chose him as their president for four years. It’s completely different. Mubarak is a part of the deep state, he is a head of this regime that is ruling Egypt at the moment. He is the head and the controller of the anti-revolution, the revolution of 25th of January when all Egyptians took to the street to call for his removal. It’s completely different, we cannot compare those two people. What we are seeing now again is another wave of 25th of January revolution.
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.