Life sentences to 148 supporters of Egypt’s Mohamed Morsi

January 2, 2017 11:00 am

This photo, dated May 19, 2014, shows a mass trial of political prisoners as defendants in the cage receive sentences ranging from death by hanging, life in jail and eight to 15 years in prison on charges of murder, rioting, and violence, in Alexandria, . (By AP)

Two courts in Egypt have handed down heavy sentences to scores of people as part of the ruling junta’s continued crackdown on supporters of former president .
A military court in the city of Minya gave life sentences to 148 defendants, Kuwait Agency (KUNA) reported on Sunday, citing Egyptian media.
Another court in neighboring Asyut issued 10-year prison sentences for 42 defendants and 5-year sentences for two others, according to the report.
The charges included affiliation to the banned Brotherhood organization, involvement in storming government buildings, and taking part in protests against police forces and the army.
The junta’s crackdown on the opposition began after Morsi was removed from power in 2013 in a coup led by the then-army chief and now-President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi. Since then, Egyptian courts have held mass trials for thousands of Morsi supporters and members of the Brotherhood organization, which backed Morsi.
Rights groups in Egypt and across the world have recorded cases of irregularities in the trials of political prisoners in the country.

This picture, taken on June 2, 2015, shows ousted Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi in the defendants’ cage during his trial in Cairo, Egypt. (By AFP)

Sisi’s government has outlawed the Brotherhood organization, which is Egypt’s oldest opposition movement. The group operated under strict measures during the rule of longtime dictator Hosni Mubarak, who was himself removed from power in a public uprising in 2011.
Morsi had been sentenced to death on charges of corruption, escaping from prison and inciting violence before the Court of Cassation overturned that ruling in November last year and ordered a retrial.
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