Egypt protests Pakistan’s criticism of Morsi sentence

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CAIRO: Egypt summoned Pakistan’s charge d’affaires to protest at Islamabad’s criticism of the death sentence handed down to ousted Islamist president Mohamed Morsi, the foreign ministry said on Tuesday.

Egypt denounces any “interference in its internal affairs which casts a shadow on relations between the two countries,” the ministry said in a statement a day after summoning Mohamed Eijaz.

Morsi, Egypt’s first freely elected president, and more than 100 other defendants were sentenced to death by a court on May 16 for their role in a mass prison break during the 2011 uprising.

The sentence was criticised by human rights groups, the United States and the European Union, as well as Pakistan.

“The dispensation of justice must be based on the principles of equity and fairness,” Pakistan’s foreign ministry said in a statement issued on May 19.

“This is all the more important when political prisoners especially a former elected president, who was ousted from office, is brought before the court of law.”

Morsi was ousted by then-army chief and now President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi in July 2013 after mass street protests against his one-year rule.

A government crackdown overseen by Sisi has left hundreds of Morsi supporters dead, thousands imprisoned and dozens sentenced to death after speedy trials, described by the United Nations as “unprecedented in recent history”.

Morsi has also been sentenced to 20 years in jail in a separate trial.

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