Morsi’s life sentence to destabilise Egypt

AN Egyptian court Saturday sentenced former president Mohamed Morsi to life in prison in an espionage trial in which six of his co-defendants were also handed death penalties. While the human rights organisations have declared the trial outcome as appalling, we understand it was not surprising rather expected that Morsi would be handed down such a punishment given the current situation in the country where politically motivated detentions and court sentences have become more rampant.
Egypt is already faced with a host of issues and trials, sentencing of political activists and opponents does not augur well for the country. With right moves now, the incumbent rulers need to promote greater unity and consolidation in order to prepare ground for forward march and development of the country, and that requires national reconciliation. If Muslim Brotherhood shows willingness to operate in politics under rules of democracy, then other political forces should welcome them instead of pushing them to the wall. The punishment awarded to Morsi, who already faces death sentence in another case, is most likely to draw strong reaction and protests from the supporters of Muslim Brotherhood- the defunct outfit, which may push the country further deep into anarchy and chaos. In our view, the incumbent Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El Sisi should learn a lesson from Bangladesh where one-sided and unfair executions and trials of Jamat-i-Islami leaders have plunged the entire country into turmoil. Resultantly, violent extremism is on the rise in Bangladesh today and society stands deeply fragmented, as incidents of target killings of foreigners, minorities and secular activists have become norm of the day. The same is very much true to some other Muslim countries also. If truth be told, whenever religious elements are suppressed, the outcome is always dangerous for the society. There is also no denying the fact that internal strife and conflicts actually give birth to radicalisation and the Muslim countries need to address their internal issues through reconciliation to free their societies from intolerance and frictions. As regards conviction of the Muslim Brotherhood leader in Egypt, we hope El Sisi would review the decision and grant pardon Morsi to save Egypt from any other upheaval.

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