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Pakistan defends stance on Morsi death sentence

29 May 2015 12:39


Islamabad has strongly defended its recent condemnation of the death penalty handed down by an Egyptian court to former President Mohamed Morsi.

Pakistani Foreign Office Spokesperson Qazi Khalilullah said in a statement on Thursday that its condemnation of the death sentence against Egypt’s first democratically elected president was in accordance with international principles.

“Our statement on the death sentence given to the former Egyptian President was based on internationally recognized principles,” the statement read.

The statement came two days after Egypt’s Foreign Ministry summoned Pakistan’s charge d’affaires in the capital, Cairo, on Tuesday and termed Islamabad’s statement as meddling in the North African country’s internal affairs.

The Pakistani government had earlier opposed the death penalty to Morsi and more than 100 of his supporters, calling it a “tragedy for democracy.”

Several protest rallies have been held in support of Morsi in major cities across Pakistan over the past days.

On May 16, a court in Egypt sentenced Morsi along with 105 supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood to death for a mass prison break in 2011 during the country’s revolution against long-time dictator Hosni Mubarak.

The death sentence is to be referred to the Grand Mufti, Egypt’s highest religious authority, for consultative review, and the final decision will be pronounced on June 2. The Grand Mufti’s verdict is non-binding on the court.

Morsi’s death sentence has drawn widespread criticism from different countries and rights groups.

The Britain-based Amnesty International has denounced the death penalty given to Morsi as “a charade based on null and void procedures.”

The United Nations(UN), the European Union (EU) and the United States have also censured the sentence.

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