Cairo’s death penalties concern UN leader


New York - United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon expressed his strong concerns to Egypt on Wednesday over a court's sentencing of more than 500 people and the detention of journalists.

Ban met with Egyptian Foreign Minister Nabil Fahmy in Brussels on the sidelines of a European Union-African summit.

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United Nations leader Ban Ki-moon. File picture: Lars Krabbe

“The Secretary General conveyed to the Minister his strong concerns regarding the mass death penalty sentences announced recently, as well as the detention of journalists,” Ban's press office said in a statement.

Last month an Egyptian court in the southern province of Minya sentenced 529 supporters of former president Mohamed Morsi's Muslim Brotherhood to death, drawing strong criticism from Western governments and human rights groups.

Egypt put three journalists of the Qatar-based television network Al Jazeera - an Australian, a Canadian-Egyptian and an Egyptian - on trial in February on charges of aiding members of the Muslim Brotherhood.

Rights groups have criticised the case as a violation of freedom of expression. - Reuters

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