MEP: mass trials and 185 death sentences new low point in Egypt

egypt-muslim-brotherhood Dutch member of the European Parliament, Marietje Schaake (ALDE/D66), says that the death sentence for 185 members of the Muslim Brotherhood marks a new low point in developments in Egypt. They were preliminarily convicted of carrying out an attack on a police station near Cairo last year in which 12 policemen were killed.  Schaake: "This verdict is disturbing. The death penalty is always unacceptable, but this mass trial was also riddled with procedural flaws. While attacks on security forces must be investigated, the rule of law in Egypt is systematically being used by the regime to eliminate opponents. Earlier this week, charges of murder and corruption were dropped against former President Mubarak, on the basis of a technical error." Security State Egyptian society under President Sisi, seems to be moving back to the security state as it was under President Mubarak. Schaake: "Across the board, the regime is systematically undermining fundamental freedoms and human rights. Activists like Ahmed Maher are still imprisoned, journalists are threatened and prosecuted, the regime has passed a law against demonstrations and NGOs have been targeted with highly restrictive legislation to prevent them from carrying out their work. The hopes of a more free and democratic Egypt, which lead to the revolution against both Mubarak and Morsi are being trampled by the regime." European strategy Schaake wants the new EU foreign policy chief, Federica Mogherini, to come forward with a more decisive strategy towards Egypt. Schaake, "We repeatedly asked Mogherini's predecessor for European leadership, but this never materialised. I hope the current High Representative will pick up this task. We must make clear that for the EU, respect for fundamental freedoms and human rights must be at the top of the agenda. The EU has many financial instruments and ways to support Egypt. We need conditionality and we need political will to enforce it."