Court in Egypt sentences 452 members of Muslim Brotherhood to jail

Court in Egypt sentences 452 members of Muslim Brotherhood to jail
# 12 August 2015 01:09 (UTC +04:00)

The military court in Alexandria handed down the sentences to the group, which included former parliamentarians and governors, on Tuesday.

A senior Brotherhood leader, Gamal Heshmat, and 253 other members were sentenced to 25 years or life in jail. The court sentenced the rest of the Brotherhood members to jail terms ranging between three to 15 years.

The defendants were implicated in violent acts including the burning of the Beheira Governorate building, storming a police station in Beheira, and other incidents during anti-government protests in Nile Delta Province, northwest of the capital, Cairo.

Out of the 452, 250 Brotherhood members, including Heshmat, have gone to Turkey, and were sentenced in absentia.

Muslim Brotherhood crackdown

In 2013, the Egyptian army started a systematic crackdown on the supporters of Mohamed Morsi, Egypt's first democratically elected president who was ousted in a military coup in July the same year. Morsi has been detained since.

Since Morsi's overthrow, thousands of anti-government protesters, mostly Brotherhood supporters, have been sentenced to jail by civilian and military courts.

Hundreds of the ex-president’s supporters, and Morsi himself, have been sentenced to death.

Hundreds of political detainees have died in Egypt's detention facilities due to medical negligence and torture, as well as the sub-standard conditions in Egypt's prisons and police stations.

Rabaa massacre

On August 14, 2013, Egyptian security forces carried out deadly attacks on two camps of protesters in the capital, Cairo: one at al-Nahda Square and a larger one at Rabaa al-Adawiya Square.

The two sites had been occupied by supporters of the ousted president, Morsi, for weeks.

Human Rights Watch described the raids as "one of the world’s largest killings of demonstrators in a single day in recent history."

The Muslim Brotherhood and National Coalition for Supporting Legitimacy (NCSL) claimed the death toll of the Rabaa massacre alone was about 2,600 people.

The Rabaa massacre led to numerous mass rallies and huge protests by Brotherhood supporters in several cities across the country.

However, not a single authority in the country has been summoned to courts over the Rabaa massacre, which triggered the 2013 violent protests.