Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shukri meets with Iraqi Foreign Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari in Baghdad, December 17, 2014. REUTERS/Ahmed Saad
CAIRO, Feb 6 (Aswat Masriya) - Egypt's Foreign Ministry criticised on Friday the reaction of some countries and organisations against the life sentences handed to 230 defendants, including political activist Ahmed Douma, describing them as "unacceptable".
Both the United States and the European Union condemned the sentences earlier this week. The US State Department spokeswoman said her government was "deeply troubled" by the verdict, while the EU said the sentences violate Egypt's international human rights obligations, a statement by the spokesperson in Brussels read.
Egyptian rights groups also criticised the sentences, urging the intervention of the Supreme Judicial Council to stop what they described as the "continuous collapse of the [Egyptian] justice system".
The Foreign Ministry described the reactions as representing "unacceptable interference in the work of the Egyptian judiciary and disrespect to its rulings" in a statement.
It stressed the "complete inadmissibility" to comment on the provisions of the judiciary by internal or external parties. It added that this is considered as "encroachment" on the independence of the judiciary.
The Foreign Ministry said that all defendants are entitled to appeal their sentences.
On Wednesday, an Egyptian court sentenced Douma alongside 229 defendants to life in prison, in the trial which came to be known as the "cabinet clashes" trial.
Clashes broke out between protesters and security forces outside the cabinet headquarters in December 2011, leaving at least three people dead and 255 wounded. Egypt's Scientific Complex, located near the cabinet headquarters, was torched during the clashes.
The defendants were charged with illegal assembly, possession of bladed weapons and Molotov cocktails, assaulting army and police personnel and attacking governmental institutions.