Live from Abu Dhabi Connect the World takes you on a journey across continents, investigating the stories that are changing our world.
On Monday, an Egyptian court sentenced at least 528 supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood to death on charges related to violent riots last August, including the murder of a police officer.
Egyptian news site Ahram Online said it was the largest set of death sentences handed to defendants in the modern history of Egypt.
Another 683 people are also facing charges, including the Muslim Brotherhood’s spiritual leader Mohammed Badie.
To find out what these mass trials mean for the future of Egypt, Max spoke to Muslim Brotherhood spokesperson Abdullah El-Haddad, and political analyst and journalist Ashraf Khalil.
In El-Haddad's opinion the judiciary were not acting independently. He said that the trial was "just a kangaroo court,” and that the speed with which the verdict was delivered – after two sessions of twenty minutes each – indicated this. He also pointed out that, in comparison, former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak's trial had 48 sessions and took more than two years.
Khalil said that it is still unclear whether this result was influenced by the state's leadership, or whether it was an example of the Egyptian judiciary "pursuing its own agenda.”
In relation to what this means for the future of the country, El-Haddad said that nothing can be fixed until the current leadership is removed and held accountable for "crimes against humanity.”
Watch the full discussion above.