CAIRO — An Egyptian court sentenced the leader of the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood and 682 supporters to death on Monday, April 28.
The Brotherhood, in a statement issued in London, described the ruling as chilling and said it would “continue to use all peaceful means to end military rule.”
An Islamist alliance that includes the Brotherhood called on Egyptians to demonstrate against the death sentences in the streets of Cairo on Wednesday.
In another case signaling growing intolerance of dissent by military-backed authorities, the pro-democracy “April 6” movement that helped ignite the uprising that toppled autocrat Hosni Mubarak in 2011 was banned by court order, judicial sources said.
Banning the activities of the movement follows the imprisonment of three of its leading members last year on charges of protesting illegally. Charges against April 6 included “damaging the image of the state”.
The death sentence for Mohamed Badie, the Brotherhood’s general guide, infuriated members of the group, which has been the target of raids, arrests and bans since the army forced President Mohamed Morsi from power in July.
Badie, considered a conservative hardliner, was charged with crimes including inciting violence that followed the army overthrow of Morsi, who is also on trial on an array of charges.
The slight, 70-year-old veterinary professor stood trial in Cairo in a separate case hours after the sentence was affirmed.
“If they executed me one thousand times I will not retreat from the right path,” Badie was quoted as saying by lawyer Osama Morsi, the son of the dormer president.
Two security officials told Reuters that Badie appeared relaxed and joked, asking other Brotherhood members to buy him the red outfit that prisoners condemned to death wear.