0156 GMT July 22, 2018
In a statement released on Sunday, EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini said, "The court decision to seek the death penalty... was taken at the end of a mass trial that was not in line with Egypt's obligations under international law.” Press TV reported.
Egypt has to guarantee defendants' right to a fair trial and an independent inquiry, Mogherini said, adding that the 28-nation bloc believes Morsi’s sentence will be revised upon appeal.
Describing the death penalty as “ cruel and inhumane,” the top EU diplomat further noted, "the EU opposes capital punishment under all circumstances."
Morsi was among more than 100 defendants ordered by a court in Egypt on May 16 to face the death penalty for a mass prison break in 2011 during the country’s revolution against long-time dictator Hosni Mubarak.
The death sentences are to be referred to the Grand Mufti, Egypt’s highest religious authority, for consultative review and the final decision will be pronounced on June 2. The Grand Mufti's verdict is non-binding on the court.
Qatar-based Egyptian cleric Yusuf al-Qaradawi, who was among those sentenced to death, also condemned the court ruling on Sunday.
In a statement relayed by Qatar-based broadcaster, al-Jazeera, he said the verdicts "have no value and cannot be implemented because they are against the rule of God and people's laws and customs."
The US State Department also expressed deep concerns over the ruling. The criticism followed condemnation by Amnesty International and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
In July 2013, Morsi was ousted in a military coup led by the former head of the armed forces and current President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi.
Egypt’s military-backed government has been cracking down on any opposition since Morsi was ousted.
The Egyptian administration's suppression has left hundreds of Morsi supporters dead, thousands jailed and dozens sentenced to death in mass trials.