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Death sentence of Egyptian ex-President Mohamed Morsi overturned

By Ed Adamczyk
Death sentence of Egyptian ex-President Mohamed Morsi overturned
Former Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi sits in the defendent's cage during his trial in Cairo on April 21, 2015. On Tuesday Egypt's highest court overturned his death sentence and ordered a retrial. File Photo by Karem Ahmed/UPI | License Photo

CAIRO, Nov. 15 (UPI) -- Egypt's Court of Cassation on Monday overturned the death sentence of former President Mohamed Morsi, who now faces a new trial linked to the Arab Spring uprising that rocked the country in 2011.

The court reversed a lower court's ruling from June 2015 to sentence Morsi to death for his involvement in jailbreaks and mass protests during uprisings in 2011 that removed Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak.

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Morsi was democratically elected president in 2012, then overthrown the following year by a military coup. His party, the pan-Arab Muslim Brotherhood, was outlawed, and thousands of supporters were arrested. In the ruling Tuesday, five of Morsi's co-defendants will be retried, and 21 more had their life sentences struck down.

Although Morsi was spared the death sentence by Egypt's highest court Tuesday, he remain jailed, sentenced to 45 years on other charges, including espionage on behalf of other countries. He also awaits additional trials on terrorism and other spying-related charges. In October the Court of Cassation upheld a 20-year sentence for Morsi for inciting violence.

Egypt has seen regular incidents of protest and political violence since 2011. The activist organization Human Rights Watch has referred to the current administration of President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi as a "human rights crisis" in which dissenters against the government routinely have their rights violated.

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