Qatar expresses 'deep concern' over Morsi verdict

Qatar expresses 'deep concern' over Morsi verdict
Qatar on Wednesday urged authorities in Egypt to release jailed ousted president Mohammed Morsi a day after a court in Cairo upheld his death sentence.
2 min read
17 June, 2015
Mosri during his trial for allegedly spying for Qatar [Al-Araby al-Jadeed]
Qatar expressed "deep concern" on Wednesday over a death sentence handed down by an Egyptian court against ousted Islamist president Mohammad Morsi and called for his release.

The United States has branded the sentencing of Egypt's first democratically elected president as politically motivated.

Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, a strong supporter of the Muslim Bortherhood and Morsi, called for a stronger response from international governments against the verdict.

“The repeal of court decisions issued arbitrarily and without due process is very important in the international community’s struggle to uphold democracy and human rights,” he said.

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon press office said in a statement on Tuesday, “The secretary-general is concerned that such verdicts, handed down after mass trials, may well have a negative impact on the prospects for long-term stability in Egypt.”

"Doha adds its voice to the countries calling for the verdict to be quashed and Morsi released," said the statement on the official Qatar News Agency.

Spying and Jail-break 

An Egyptian court on Tuesday upheld a death sentence handed down against Morsi on charges of plotting jailbreaks and attacks on police during the country's 2011 uprising.

It also sentenced him to life in prison on charges of spying for Iran and militant groups including the Palestinian Islamist movement Hamas, and Qatar.

The Egyptian court also upheld death sentences against around 100 other defendants, including the Qatar-based cleric Yusuf Qaradawi, who was tried in absentia.

"The death sentences against political dissidents in Egypt harm security and stability, and close the door to reconciliation and harmony," the Qatari statement said.

Qatari-Egyptian relations

Ties between Doha and Cairo had been strained over Qatar's backing for Morsi, ousted by then army chief and now President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi in 2013.

The dispute triggered a crisis last year pitting Qatar against its Gulf neighbours Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates -- all backers of Sisi.

It ended in a compromise in December, when Qatar pledged its support to Sisi, even though it still shelters many leaders of Morsi's Muslim Brotherhood which is now blacklisted as a terrorist group in Egypt.​