29 April, 2014

Egyptian Democracy's Death Sentence - Bloomberg View

Egyptian Democracy's Death Sentence - Bloomberg View: An Egyptian court today sentenced 683 people to death in a trial that lasted about five minutes. This was both a travesty of justice and an embarrassment for the U.S., which just last week released some of the military aid it froze last year to protest Egypt's human-rights abuses.

For those who may have been distracted by other issues lately: About 1,150 people died in the military coup that deposed the country's first democratically chosen president last July. Since then, as many as 19,000 protesters have been arrested or have disappeared at the hands of security forces.

No one has been charged in connection with those killings. Egypt's courts did, however, sentence 529 people to death last month in connection with the death of a policeman. (That trial lasted about four hours, or 27 seconds per death sentence.) Meanwhile, a new draft anti-terrorism law is so vague and broad that the crackdown is likely to become even more bloody.