Brief description of the case:
- Bassem Ouda served as Minister of Supply in the Morsi government from January 5 to July 4, 2013.
- Despite his short term in office, he was hailed as “the minister of the poor”. He was the youngest minister in the cabinet.
- He was sentenced to death on June 19, 2014, along with 13 other defendants, in the Istiqama Mosque Case, where they were found guilty of killing 10 people and injuring 20 others during violent clashes around the Istiqama Mosque in Giza in July 2013.
- Bassem was also charged with inciting violence, using force against state personnel, rioting, vandalising public and private property and belonging to a terrorist organisation.
- Amnesty International condemned the sentencing of Bassem and his co-defendants as “Politically motivated.”
- “Although Ouda came from the Brotherhood, he was perceived as a technocrat who wasn’t involved in the day to day business of the group,” said Aziz El-Kaissouni, visiting fellow at the European Council on Foreign Relations.
- “He is seen as credible, has a strong record of success [during his term as minister] and his performance was usually fairly efficient. He did a lot of good work in attempting to rationalise the price of natural gas and bread distribution systems,” Kaissouni said.
- In a court session on May 17, 2016, Bassem made a viral speech before the judge, asking him: “I do not know why I’m here (in custody)! Is my crime that I lowered the price of oil for poor citizens? Or is it that I never sold off any Egyptian Islands? Why am I here?”