US upset as 529 Mursi backers handed death

Updated 26 March 2014

US upset as 529 Mursi backers handed death

WASHINGTON: The US is “deeply concerned” about the death sentences handed out against 529 supporters of Egypt’s deposed President Muhammad Mursi, a US official said on Monday.
An Egyptian court handed down the sentences earlier, amid a sweeping crackdown on supporters of the former president, who was overthrown by the army last July.
“While appeals are possible, it simply does not seem possible that a fair review of evidence and testimony consistent with international standards could be accomplished with over 529 defendants after a two-day trial,” a State Department official said.
“We continue to call on the Egyptian government to ensure that all those detained in Egypt are afforded fair proceedings that respect civil liberties and due process and are consistent with international standards. The law must be applied equitably and free of political bias,” the State Department official said.
“We have said many times that even the appearance of politically-motivated arrests, detentions, and convictions will set Egypt’s transition back,” the official added.
The official, citing reports of violence in response to the sentences, warned that such a reaction would not help either.
But Egypt's army-installed interim government defended the court's handling of the case, insisting that the sentences had been handed down only “after careful study” and were subject to appeal.
The defendants who were sentenced to death are part of a larger group of more than 1,200 alleged radicals accused of killing two policemen and rioting on Aug. 14, after police killed hundreds of protesters while dispersing two Cairo protest camps.
Of the 529, only 153 are in custody. The rest were tried in their absence and have the right to a retrial if they turn themselves in.


Yemeni government, STC discuss coalition under Riyadh Agreement

Updated 19 min 1 sec ago

Yemeni government, STC discuss coalition under Riyadh Agreement

  • Prime Minister Maeen Abdulmalik Saeed met on Thursday with STC representatives in Riyadh
  • The discussions between the two sides come under the Riyadh Agreement signed in November last year

DUBAI: The Saudi-backed government of Yemen met with the Southern Transitional Council (STC) to discuss the political components to form the new government as part of a power-sharing deal. 
Prime Minister Maeen Abdulmalik Saeed met on Thursday with STC representatives in Riyadh to outline reforms to unite national ranks between the anti-Houthi coalition, according to state news agency Saba New.
Both sides discussed the priorities of the new government to face existing challenges in the political, military, security, service and economic sectors. Sustainable reforms and addressing corruption, were also on the agenda. 
The discussions between the two sides come under the Riyadh Agreement signed in November last year. 
The new government will look to face current economic challenges in the war-torn country with the aim to stop the deterioration of the national currency exchange rate, as well as the humanitarian situation.

Meanwhile, President Abdrabbu Mansour Hadi left Saudi Arabia and headed to the United States for medical treatment

The head of the country’s internationally-recognised government, who has lived in exile in Riyadh since the Iranian-aligned Houthi group captured the Yemeni capital Sanaa in 2015, has been treated for a heart condition since 2011.