Egypt condemned Wednesday international criticism of former president Mohamed Morsi’s 20-year prison sentence as “unacceptable interference in the country’s internal affairs, and disrespect of the decisions of the Egyptian judiciary”.
The reactions failed to mention the “reality of the crimes”, and that the defendants were acquitted of killing protesters, a statement by the State Information Service (SIS) said.
In a statement Wednesday, the Turkish Foreign Ministry expressed its “utmost concern” regarding Tuesday’s verdict, specifically regarding the “future of democracy” in Egypt.
Turkey has been an outspoken critic of the Egyptian regime following Morsi’s ouster in July 2013, often sparking angry reactions inside Egypt.
Turkey had previously condemned the 14 death sentences handed out in the Rabaa Operations trial on 12 April, describing them as the “the latest in the series of politicised trials”.
On Tuesday, the US also expressed its concern regarding the sentences issued against Morsi and his co-defendants in the same case, without going into further details.
Former Tunisian president and leading figure in the Islamist Ennahda Party, Moncef Marzouki, posted on his official Facebook page on Wednesday, expressing his support for Morsi.
The Cairo Criminal Court found Morsi and 12 Muslim Brotherhood leaders, including Mohamed El-Beltagy and Essam El-Erian, guilty of “demonstrating power and violence” and “inciting violence” in the Presidential Palace case. All defendants were acquitted of the charge of killing protesters.
At least 10 protesters were killed in clashes between anti-Morsi and pro-Morsi demonstrations in front of the Presidential Palace on 5 December 2012.
This is the first sentence handed down to Morsi, as he is a co-defendant in four other trials. He is accused of escaping Wadi El-Natrun Prison in January 2011, insulting the judiciary, espionage by working with foreign Islamist groups, and of espionage with Qatar.