Egyptians on social media react after court revokes Morsi death sentence | Middle East| News and analysis of events in the Arab world | DW | 15.11.2016
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Middle East

Egyptians on social media react after court revokes Morsi death sentence

Egypt’s high court of appeal has overturned a death sentence against former president Mohammed Morsi. How are Egyptians on social media seeing the verdict?

Mohammed Morsi, who was ousted in a military coup in 2013, was sentenced to death on charges of being involved in a jailbreak in 2011. Egypt's court on Tuesday annulled the death sentence and scheduled a retrial for the former president and five other Muslim Brotherhood members.

"The death sentence for Morsi is being overturned. May this happen to all those innocent falsely imprisoned people," celebrates Twitter user Salloma Eldeeb.

Under current Egyptian president Abdel Fattah El-Sissi, who took power in 2014, tens of thousands of people have been imprisoned. Many of those jailed have been accused of having ties to the Muslim Brotherhood, which aligned itself with Morsi. The Muslim Brotherhood organization has since been outlawed in Egypt.

"You embody the spirit of the Egyptian people," tweets user Abdo Mohammad with the hashtag "Morsi."

The former President is widely revered by some parts of Egyptian society, as he is considered to be the country's first democratically elected president. He also has a doctorate in materials science from the University of Southern California. Some pro-Morsi Egyptians use the honorific "the educated one" to refer to him.   

"Morsi isn't being executed and Mubarak's children are being released. Egypt is delighted," tweets Egyptian Hesham Lofty wryly. 

Past Egyptian leaders and their families have been getting off the hook for their alleged crimes. Former Egyptian strongman Hosni Mubarak, who was in office from October 1981 to February 2011, was during the January 25 revolution. His two sons, Alaa and Gamal, had spent four years in prison for corruption until being released in 2015.

"No to opening up the crossing. No to releasing traitors. No to a retrial for that spy Morsi. Traitors deserve execution," writes Aboraya Nahla.  The "crossing" she mentions is the Rafah crossing between the Egyptian Sinai Peninsula and the Palestinian Gaza Strip. The Rafah crossing had been recently opened for a few days by the El-Sissi government to allow for movement of people and supplies. The Gaza Strip is controlled by Hamas, which is considered to be an offshoot of the Muslim Brotherhood. Due to this Twitter user's anti-Morsi, anti-Muslim Brotherhood stance, she is against Hamas and thus any opening of the Rafah crossing.

Kairo Proteste 28.12.13 (Reuters)

A Muslim Brotherhood supporter making a pro-Morsi hand gesture

 

Rebellion campaign

Although Morsi became the first democratically elected of president of Egypt in 2012, many in the country are critical of his rise to power. They argue that after Mubarak was overthrown, the only part of Egyptian society that was mobilized to vote were the conservatives, who propelled Morsi into office. They also argue that the coup leading to Morsi's ouster in 2013 was democratic due to the Tamarod (rebellion) campaign. Some 22 million Egyptians signed a document called the Tamarod sheet, which was a petition to bring Morsi down by way of the military.   

Although Morsi's death sentence has been overturned, he still has to serve 20 years in prison as confirmed by the High Court in late October. He's currently being held in the Borg Al-Arab prison in the Mediterranean city of Alexandria.

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