Obama must be fuming at the verdict handed down by an Egyptian high court that sentenced senior members of the Muslim Brotherhood to death for inciting chaos and violence.
Mohamed Badie, a spiritual leader of the Muslim Brotherhood and 13 other defendants were handed death sentences, and 37 people, including an Egyptian-American citizen who was arrested for being a material supporter of the Brotherhood, were jailed for life by a Cairo court.
UK Daily Mail: The defendants found guilty of plotting unrest from their headquarters in a sprawling Cairo protest camp in the months after the military overthrew Islamist president Mohamed Morsi in July 2013.
Judge Mohamed Nagy Shehata, known for his harsh rulings in cases involving the Muslim Brotherhood, also sentenced two Islamists who have fled the country to death.
Among those sentenced to life in prison is Mohamed Soltan, an American-Egyptian man who has been on a hunger strike over his detention for more than 14 months.
The U.S. embassy in Cairo said in a statement that it was ‘gravely concerned’ about Mohamed Soltan and would ‘continue to monitor his case closely and to provide him with all possible support.’
The rulings can be appealed before the Court of Cassation, which has overturned dozens of other death sentences, including against Badie.
So far Egypt has executed one Islamist sentenced to death after Morsi’s overthrow, following his conviction of involvement in the murder of a youth during violent protests in July 2013.
Judge Shehata read out a Koranic verse that stipulates amputation and crucifixion for outlaws, before rendering his verdict on Saturday.
The Egyptian court also sentenced Mohamed Soltan, a 27-year-old Egyptian-American dual-citizen to life in prison.
NBC News: Mohamed Soltan, a graduate of Ohio State University, was arrested in 2013 after Egyptian security forces stormed a sit-in protest of supporters of ousted President Mohammed Morsi. Soltan was shot during the violent break-up of the protest, and was taken into custody along with his father, who was an active political opposition figure within the Muslim Brotherhood.
Soltan faced terrorism-related charges, including belonging to the now banned-Muslim Brotherhood and spreading false news. Throughout the demonstrations, Soltan served as media activist for the sit-in protests and as a liaison with journalists covering the stand-off with the Egyptian government.
President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, the former army chief who toppled Morsi and then won an election, has pledged to eradicate the Brotherhood. The government has blacklisted the movement as a terrorist organization amid a spike in militant attacks that have killed dozens of policemen and soldiers.
Photos courtesy of UK Daily Mail