The Egyptian government is adding to its already formidable number of death sentence requests to the Mufti, the nation’s chief judicial authority, requesting that the head of the former Muslim Brotherhood be executed. The move is part of a larger crackdown on crime that ranges from Islamist activity to sexual assault and harassment.
Reuters reports that Mohamed Badie, the former leader of the Muslim Brotherhood, may be sentenced to death should the Mufti approve the Egyptian court’s request for such a punishment. Badie and 13 others are charged with various crimes during the brief tenure of their party, including murder and firearms possession. This group joins more than one thousand alleged members of the Muslim Brotherhood whose cases have been referred to the Mufti for capital punishment. Of those, only 37 have been upheld, but more than six hundred are still pending.
Badie has already been sentenced to death in another unrelated case, which surfaced in April and is also pending.
President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, responsible for the overthrow of Muslim Brotherhood President Mohamed Morsi, promised upon his election that the group would no longer exist during his tenure, describing them as “finished” by the Egyptian people. In addition to the mass arrests, Sisi’s government is targeting businesses that fund the Muslim Brotherhood; last week, it seized a market chain and department store belonging to senior members of the party.
In addition to eliminating the Muslim Brotherhood, Sisi has vowed commitment to properly punishing sexual misconduct, which has dramatically increased in the nation since the uprisings that ended the government of former President Hosni Mubarak. Among his first acts after being inaugurated as president was a visit to the hospital bed of a victim of sexual violence in Tahrir Square, to whom he apologized publicly and extended the apology to all Egyptian women. Thirteen people were charged for sexual assaults that occurred during the inaugural ceremonies in the famous plaza, and Sisi has begun reforming the Egyptian legal code to also include punishing aggressively sexual comments towards women.
This Wednesday, an Egyptian cab driver became the new symbol of sexually aggressive legal infractions after being fined $700 (5,000 Egyptian pounds) for inappropriate comments to a woman. The cab driver allegedly shouted at a woman protesting sexual harassment in Cairo to make way for him, calling her “mozza,” slang for “hot girl” in Arabic. Reports noted that the driver ridiculed the sexual harassment protest and called several other women by inappropriate terms while trying to pass through a street blocked by the protest. The incident is seen as a greater indication that Sisi’s orders to law enforcement to take sexual harassment cases seriously will indeed lead to further discipline of men who violate sexual harassment laws.