AFRICA/EGYPT - Coptic Catholic Bishop on the sentences regarding the Muslim Brotherhood: the Church is always against the death penalty

Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Assiut (Agenzia Fides) - "The situation is complex. There is the hardness of a judgment that is not final, and we have to wait. In any case, the Church is against the death penalty. From a Christian conscience point of view, the death penalty can never be the way to solve problems in the right way". This is what the Coptic Catholic Bishop of Assiut, Kyrillos William said regarding the 529 death sentences issued against the supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood by the Court of Minya. The sentences were issued after only two hearings, and were submitted to the Grand Mufti of Egypt, who has the task to ratify or reject them. "Many", explains Anba Kyrillos to Fides Agency, "doubt that the Grand Mufti will confirm the sentences. Already on other occasions the judges who issued the ruling had distinguished themselves for having imposed the harshest penalties. But the death penalty cannot be the solution".
The prisoners are accused of various crimes, including murder. The conviction was described as "disproportionate and unacceptable" by one of the defense lawyers, Mohammed Zarie, head of a center for the protection of human rights in Cairo. (GV) (Agenzia Fides 25/03/2014)