On Tuesday, former Muslim Brotherhood president of Egypt Mohammed Morsi was sentenced to 20 years in prison without parole, convicted of killing protesters in December 2012. Twelve other Muslim Brotherhood leaders, including the general secretary of the Muslim Brotherhood, were sentenced to 20 years as well. As TruthRevolt reported:
Judge Ahmed Sabry Youssef read the sentence live on state television. Army chief Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, who succeeded Morsi after mass protests against the Muslim Brotherhood’s terror campaign against other Egyptians, decimated the Bortherhood; he stated that they were joined in a terrorist network to attack Egypt and the West.
Morsi was ousted amid protests by millions of Egyptians in 2013. Ever since, Muslim Brotherhood-backed groups have sponsored violence against the current government.
Now, President Obama is coming out against the sentence. White House press secretary Josh Earnest said yesterday that “the United States is concerned by these sentences.” He added:
Now, we won't have an extensive comment on this until we've had an opportunity to review the verdict and the basis of the verdict, which we understand the Egyptian judicial authorities will make public soon. That being said, Mr. Morsi, like all other defendants must be afforded the basic legal right of due process. And the United States continues to be opposed to politicized arrests and detentions.
The United States will also continue to engage the Egyptian government on its political trajectory and to raise human rights and political reform issues. There should be no doubt that these issues remain significant bilateral priorities for the United States.
President Obama has long been friendly toward the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood; when he visited Cairo in 2009, he specifically invited members of the Muslim Brotherhood to his speech. He has also repeatedly met with members of the Muslim community with substantial ties to the Brotherhood.