CAIRO — An Egyptian American citizen has been sentenced to life in prison for supporting the Muslim Brotherhood in the wake of a military coup that ousted the group from power in 2013.
A Cairo criminal court issued the verdict against Ohio native Mohamed Soltan, 27, and 37 other defendants in a televised session Saturday. The judge also confirmed death sentences previously handed down to Soltan’s father, Salah Soltan, and 13 others for “inciting chaos” and planning anti-government demonstrations after the military takeover in July 2013.
Soltan, who has staged a year-long hunger strike to protest his detention, was charged with “transmitting false news” and funding the pro-Brotherhood sit-in at Cairo’s Rabaa al-Adawiya Square that summer. The verdict can be appealed.
“Without a fair trial or hearing of any evidence presented against him, Mohamed — a brother, a son, a friend, and an advocate for democracy . . . has been sentenced to life in prison,” said a statement posted to the Free Soltan campaign’s Facebook page Saturday.
State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf said in a statement that the U.S. government is “deeply disappointed” by the court’s decision and called for Egypt to “redress this verdict.”