BACK TO THE FUTURE...An armed vehicle moves towards protesters during a demonstration on a street close to Qubba Presidential Palace in Cairo. Xinhua/Cui Xinyu
An armed vehicle moves towards protesters during a demonstration on a street close in Cairo last year. Xinhua

WASHINGTON — The US Monday urged Egypt to stop mass trials and sentencing of its nationals, as a court handed down death sentence to another 683 supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood, reports IANS.

“The United States is deeply troubled by the continued use of mass trials and sentencing in Egypt, and particularly by today’s death sentence against 683 defendants,” Xinhua quoted White House spokesperson Jay Carney as saying in a statement.

“We urge the Egyptian government to end the use of mass trials, reverse this and previous mass sentences, and ensure that every citizen is afforded due process.”

The Brotherhood’s top leader Mohamed Badie is among the defendants accused of inciting violence and murdering policemen in conflicts sparked by the Egyptian military’s ouster of Mohamed Morsi, the first elected president of Egypt, in July last year.

The same court sentenced 529 Brotherhood members and supporters to death last month, as the interim government has branded the group, to which Morsi belongs, a terrorist organisation.

“Today’s verdict, like the one last month, defies even the most basic standards of international justice,” Carney said. “A fair and transparent criminal justice system free of intimidation and political retribution is an important part of any democracy, and the Egyptian people deserve no less.”

Washington has partially lifted its freeze on assistance to Egypt, enacted after Morsi’s removal, with plans to deliver 10 Apache helicopters and some $650 million in military aid this year.

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