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Subject to appeal, 75 to die in Egypt over 2013 uprising

An Egyptian court sentenced 75 people to death on Saturday, including top figures of the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood group, for their involvement in a 2013 sit-in, state media reported

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An Egyptian court sentenced 75 people to death on Saturday, including top figures of the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood group, for their involvement in a 2013 sit-in, state media reported.

The Cairo Criminal Court referred the sentences to the Grand Mufti — the country’s top theological authority — for his non-binding opinion as is the norm in capital cases. Though non-binding, the formality gives a window of opportunity for a judge to reverse an initial sentence.

The sentences are subject to appeal.

Sentencing for more than 660 others involved in the case was scheduled for Sept. 8, the Al-Ahram news website reported. Those sentences, too, are subject to appeal.

Of the 75 defendants referred to the Mufti, 44 are jailed and 31 are at large. The court normally hands down the maximum sentence for fugitives but a re-retrial is typically held after they are caught.

The case involves a total 739 defendants, including the Muslim Brotherhood’s Supreme Guide Mohammed Badie and photojournalist Mahmoud Abu Zeid. The charges range from murder to damaging public property. Neither Badie nor Abu Zeid were sentenced to death in this case.

The 2013 sit-in, in Rabaa al-Adawiya Square in Cairo, supported former Islamist President Mohammed Morsi who was militarily ousted following mass protests against his divisive one-year rule. Morsi hailed from the Brotherhood.

The sit-in was violently dispersed on Aug. 14, 2013. More than 600 people were killed. Months later, Egypt designated the Brotherhood a terrorist organization.

Egyptian authorities have since launched a severe crackdown on Brotherhood members and supporters, arresting many and trying them on terror-related charges.

Read Also: Cote d’Ivoire government faces collapse in coalition row

Egyptian courts have held mass trials and handed down death sentences for hundreds of people, drawing international condemnation.

In 2014, an Egyptian judge sentenced 529 of Morsi’s supporters to death. A retrial was later ordered after several proceedings.

Rights groups have repeatedly criticized such mass sentencings in Egypt and called on authorities to ensure fair trials.

International rights groups also denounced the mass trial of the 2013 sit-in. Amnesty International described it in a statement last month as a “grotesque parody of justice” and called on authorities to drop all charges against those arrested for protesting peacefully.

Politics

Tanzanian president, Samia Hassan, positions to become party, CCM’s chairperson. Will she get it?

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Tanzania’s president, Samia Suluhu Hassan is in a firm position to grab the heart of her political party, Tanzania’s Chama cha Mapinduzi (CCM) as she appears the sole candidate for the party’s top position.

New party executives will be chosen at the ruling party’s general meeting.

President Samia Suluhu Hassan is the only candidate for the post of chairperson, while the post of the party’s vice chairperson for Tanzania mainland is reserved for Abdulrahman Kinana who currently holds the post.

According to the party’s publicity and ideology secretary, Mr. Shaka Hamdu Shaka, the meeting will also elect members of the CCM National Executive Committee (NEC), in which 2,703 names were approved to contest for 30 seats.

By party structure, the secretary-general is the party’s top executive who oversees its operations while the chairperson and vice chairperson hold office for five years, the appointment of the party executives is normally done depending on the performance of the respective post holders and fits the existing circumstances.

The development of political parties and their administration is a key factor in strengthening democratic reign all over the world, the control of ruling parties to a large extent usually influence governance and policy. It is hoped that President Samia Hassan’s vantage position in her party, CCM will count for the level of stability that would aid governance in the East African country.

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Politics

South Sudan’s ruling party endorses President Salva Kiir for next election

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The ruling party in South Sudan has endorsed President Salva Kiir as its candidate in the country’s delayed election scheduled for the end of 2024.

President Kiir while speaking at the end of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement’s leadership session, accepted the ruling party endorsement for the 2024 election.

“We passed through a difficult situation, but we came out and stood together,” the president said to cheers. He added: “I have never failed you before; I believe that we will fight together whatever battles that are coming.”

South Sudan is in a dire situation with approximately two-thirds of the population, in danger of famine as they face acute food insecurity during the next lean season as climate shocks and conflict deepen the already vulnerable situation for many.

South Sudan is in a fragile state between war and peace. In February 2020, after a two-year process, the conflict parties of President Salva Kiir Mayardit and former First Vice President Riek Machar.

President Kiir has been the country’s only president since it gained independence from Sudan in 2011.

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