The former president faced three separate trials: one for spying, one for escaping prison during the 2011 uprising, and one for inciting the killing of demonstrators in 2012. Nobody is above the law in Egypt.
The former elected President of Egypt, Dr. Mohammed Morsi, the leader of Islamic Brotherhood in Egypt has been sentenced to death by an Egyptian court after found guilty of the charges (using violence and arresting and torturing protesters). Human Rights groups around the world have since condemned the ruling by criticising “death penalty”. Putting an elected President on death row is strongly considered anti-African way of perceiving justice. Many Africans still see some deity powers in their Presidents. It reminds us of AU criticism of the ICC by ruling unanimously that no African sitting president can face criminal charges…an effort that has tilted the Kenyan and Sudanese cases at The Hague.
“Death Penalty” is still rife in many countries and Egypt is known for its ruthlessness in the recent years. In the case of the former President, death penalty is also used to do away with certain unwanted political ideologies. The law is used to streamline the system and make Egypt be stable in the region.
My question in this blog is, why are outspoken African leaders so quiet about the fate of former colleague? What is it that, no African leader, including, President Robert Mugabe, is saying something about criminal justice in Egypt? Is this silence by design or default? The tough Mugabe is currently the sitting Chairman of the African Union whose word is now very influential in the region.
African leaders still work as a club of comrades. Their major concern is not about the real issues affecting the continent but how they can survive in power. Scratch my back, I scratch your back. Egypt has always played an independent regional politics ever since. From time immemorial, Egypt has been regarded as special and excluded by others from the Sub-Saharan region. Actually, Egypt is not actively in the African Union politics, not even in the former, OAU managed to tame Egypt.
Another reason for this evident silence is that every African leader who is on the wrong side of justice, has a feeling that his people can also turn against him and go Egyptian way (don’t wake a sleeping up dog for you can be the first to be bitten). To avoid waking the people up, it is honourable for many African leaders to be silent on “Death Penalty” being enforced in the upper Nile country for things may spill over.
Additionally, the administration of justice in many African states is still in the powers of the executive. It is the president deciding on who is to be the judge and the course of criminal justice. It is not practical therefore to have any proper rule of law and full regard to human rights. On the other hand, the law makers, are careful about self-incrimination while deciding on criminal legislations. Politicians will always think of the quality of legislations as a mirror of themselves in court. The general assumption is that, a leader, should not even appear in court let alone imagining his death.
African politics prefers covering up any issue that may involve the President with the administration of justice. But in case of any dispute involving former head of State, the state powers will seek all means to quash such cases and prevent any situation that may lead the nation to such level.
Lastly, many African current leaders have no clue of how to intervene in the Egyptian case. There is fear of not openning a window with the old history of wars in the region. Egypt is still considered a giant force in the region and any situation that may bring interference is regarded as not necessary.
Egypt is a full member of the African Union after decades of diplomatic uncertainty. It is true that African Union should have a role to play in the situation of death penalty in Egypt. However, still the principle of non interference with internal affairs of sovereign state members is still respected.
Finally, Egypt has been an orthodox Christian country (Coptic). The country has never accepted any element of Islam fundamentalism including Muslim Brotherhood- a blacklisted terrorist group. The best example is the attack of the Egyptians by ISIS in Libya, an offence that made Egypt strike into Libya. Egypt is justified for its effort to keep terrorists out of its borders and defend the rights of her citizens. It is also justified that Egypt is dealing with its perceived criminals through the rule of law despite dissenting opinions from human rights movements. However, it relies on the military force to streamline its justice system.
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