The Turkish prime minister has described the life in prison sentence pronounced against Egypt’s former president Mohamed Morsi as a test for both the Western countries and the international media in their stance for democratic principles.
Ahmet Davutoglu spoke right after an Egyptian court sentenced the country’s first democratically-elected president to life in prison, on charges of “conspiring” with Palestinian group Hamas to carry out “terrorist acts” inside Egypt.
“We’ll see what the international media will do against what has recently been happening in Egypt after they accused the Turkish president and its government of becoming ‘dictatorial and authoritarian’ in their broadcasts during transparent Turkish elections,” he said during a group meeting of his Justice and Development (AK) Party on Tuesday in the capital Ankara.
“I wonder if they can raise their voice [against Egypt’s sentences],” he added.
Davutoglu’s speech ended before it was reported that Morsi’s death sentence over separate jailbreak charges had been upheld by an Egyptian court.
Davutoglu emphasized that it would soon become evident whether the international media’s actual cause is democracy or their own interests, judging from their reaction to the life in prison sentence “against one of the leading names of a political movement that has never resorted to violence”.
“We will see those who talk about freedoms in Turkey but salute Egypt’s coup regime, those who speak of justice but remain silent against the oppression in Syria,” he added.
In April, Morsi and 12 co-defendants were sentenced to 20 years in prison each on charges of mobilizing supporters to “intimidate, detain and torture” dozens of anti-Morsi protesters during clashes outside eastern Cairo’s Ittihadiya presidential palace in December 2012.
Morsi was ousted in a 2013 coup led by the then military chief Abdel Fattah el-Sisi following protests against his one-year rule.
He currently faces multiple criminal charges, including spying and “offending Egypt’s judiciary”.
Since Morsi’s ouster, Egyptian authorities have launched a relentless crackdown on dissent that has largely targeted Morsi supporters, leaving hundreds dead and thousands behind bars.
Resource: Middle East Monitor, June 16, 2015