Prison Break Earns Egypt’s Mohamed Morsi Death Sentence

Ousted Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi raises his hands as he sits behind glass in a courtroom, in a converted lecture hall in the national police academy in an eastern Cairo suburb, Egypt, Saturday, May 16, 2015. An Egyptian court on Saturday sentenced ousted President Mohammed Morsi to death over his part in a mass prison break that took place during the 2011 uprising that toppled Hosni Mubarak. (AP Photo/Ahmed Omar)

Event: On Saturday 16 May 2015, Egypt President Mohamed Morsi, once Muslim Brotherhood leader was sentenced by an Egyptian court to death, along with 105 others in connection to the Wadi el-Natrun prison break of 2011.

About Wadi el-Natrun prison break of 2011

On 30 January 2011, a prison in Egypt that was used to incarcerate Islamists under the regime of Hosni Mubarak after the Egyptian Revolution of 2011 was broken in the country’s most massive prison break.

The Wadi el-Natrun prison break led to thousands of prisoners escaping from the prison.

The Wadi el-Natrun prison is an Egyptian prison complex north of Cairo.

The Egyptian Revolution of 2011 that demanded the overthrow of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak took place on 25 January 2011 and included Islamic, liberal, anti-capitalist, nationalist and feminist elements.

The revolution resulted in death of at least 846 people.

Hamas and Hezbollah worked with the Muslim Brotherhood to orchestrate the prison break.

Hamas is a designated terrorist organization by the European Union founded in 1988 as an offshoot of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood, to establish an Islamic state in the area that is now Israel.

Hezbollah, also known as “Party of Allah” is an Islamist militant group and political party based in Lebanon.

Mohamed Morsi, who became the first democratically elected president of Egypt after the massive prison break was among the prisoners who escaped from Wadi el-Natrun prison.

Assessment of the sentence

With President Morsi’s death sentence pending, intelligence sources have assessed the move by the Egyptian court, which says will pronounce its final decision on 2 June.

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First, there is a likelihood the sentence will further polarize Egypt along the government supporters and adherents of the Muslim Brotherhood, which thrives in Egypt and to which Mohamed Morsi was once one of the leaders.

In fact, pending the court’s final decision, Islamists have warned of a backlash on the death sentence of Morsi.

The sentence is also likely to weaken ties between Cairo and the Washington. The latter condemned the decision by the Egyptian court saying that it has consistently spoken out against the practice of mass trials and sentences.

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