Erdogan slams Europe’s silence on executions in Egypt

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has lashed out at European countries for staying silent on an Egyptian court’s decision to sentence hundreds of Muslim Brotherhood (MB) members to death.

“You are raising the alarm about Twitter, so why aren’t you talking about this [the executions]? Is human life so cheap?” said Erdogan, calling on European countries to react.

In a widely condemned ruling, an Egyptian court convicted 529 members of the MB, of which ousted President Mohammed Morsi was a leading figure, on March 24 and sentenced them to death for the murder of one policeman and attacking others in one of the largest mass trials in the country in decades, news agencies have reported.

Although the Egyptian court’s decision, which came after a two-session trial, has brought some criticism from governments and human rights groups around the world, there has been no significant international reaction to the Egyptian court’s decision to apply the death penalty.

“In Egypt, through the social media, a movement was started by exploiting the word ‘freedom.’ The result has been a military coup. It has led to the deaths of hundreds of people. The freedom of many people has been restricted. Can you think about it? There is no noise from the European countries, where the death penalty has been banned. Five hundred and twenty-nine death warrants are being issued. Where are you, Europe?” Erdogan said.

Twitter was blocked in Turkey after Erdogan vowed to “root it out,” stirring harsh reactions across the country and from the global community. It became accessible again when the Constitutional Court ruled that the Twitter ban was unconstitutional and unlawful, demanding an immediate lift of the ban adopted by the Telecommunications Directorate (TİB).

“When the ‘Twitter issue’ occurred in Turkey, everyone was alarmed. Criticism came from all around the world. Why aren’t you speaking about the executions of 529 people who are struggling to protect the results of the ballot? Are the 529 people criminals? There is no noise from the US. There is no noise from anywhere,” Erdogan continued.

“When we bring up this issue, do they feel uncomfortable? Why do you feel uncomfortable if the issue is a democratic struggle, if the issue is human rights, if the issue is basic rights and freedoms? If you will not respect the results of the ballot, then we don’t have to respect you either,” he concluded.