Fourteen men, including Muslim Brotherhood leaders, were sentenced to
death on Saturday, for setting up an "operation room" at the protest
camp that supported ousted president Mohamed Morsi in Cairo's Rabaa
Al-Adawiya area in the summer of 2013, among other charges.
Brotherhood supreme guide Mohamed Badie, the son of leading member and
businessman Hassan Malek, Omar, as well as leading member Saad
El-Hoseiny are among those who received the capital punishment.
Former Brotherhood spokesperson Mahmoud Ghozlan and leading member Saad Emara were sentenced to death in absentia.
The sentences, pronounced at a televised court session on Saturday, can be appealed before Egypt's highest civilian court in a process that could take years to reach a final verdict.
It was the fourth death sentence for Mohammed Badie. The Minya Criminal Court gave Badie his first death sentence for inciting violence at the Edwa Police Station in Minya. The same court then issued another death penalty against Badie for violent actions committed against police forces and civilians in the aftermath of the sit-in dispersals. More recently, Badie was also sentenced to
death by the Banha Criminal Court for inciting violence in Qalyub.
Meanwhile, in the same case, 37 other defendants were sentenced to life in prison, including hunger striker Mohamed Soltan and Saad El-Shater, son of Brotherhood strongman and business tycoon Khairat El-Shater.The White House
condemned the sentencing, calling for Soltan's immediate release and citing concerns for his health. It added that he would continue to receive U.S. diplomatic support "until he can return safely to the United States."
Soltan, an Egyptian-American, has been on a hunger strike since 26 January 2014. According to his family, his health condition has alarmingly deteriorated ever since, and he has repeatedly lost consciousness.
Soltan had been working in the United States when he moved back to Egypt in March 2013 to look after his mother after she was diagnosed with cancer. On August 25, 2013, police forces raided their home in search of his father, who was not there. Instead, they arrested Soltan and several of his friends. Soltan was charged with belonging to a terrorist organization and conspiring to overthrow the government.