Published: Sun, September 09, 2018
Global News | By Blake Casey

Egypt sentences 75 people to death over 2013 sit

Egypt sentences 75 people to death over 2013 sit

An Egyptian court issued death sentences for 75 people today, including prominent Islamist leaders, and jailed more than 600 others over a 2013 sit-in which ended with the killing of hundreds of protesters by security forces.

Those who were sentenced in the mass trial were accused of security-related offences including incitement to violence, murder and organising illegal protests.

The charges can carry the death penalty but should be able to walk free after already having spent five years in jail.

The court sentenced Morsi's son, Ossama, to 10 years in jail, while 215 people were handed five-year prison terms.

Also indicted was award-winning photo-journalist Mahmoud Abu Zeid, better known as Shawkan, who received a five-year prison sentence.

"The fact that not a single police officer has been brought to account for the killing of at least 900 people in the Rabaa and Nahda protests shows what a mockery of justice this trial was", said Najia Bounaim, North Africa Campaigns Director at Amnesty International, in a statement.

Following protests against the ouster of Islamist President Mohamed Mursi by the military - led at the time by Egypt's current president, Abdel Fattah al-Sisi - security forces violently broke up the demonstrators at Rabaa square.

Muslim Brotherhood's leader Mohamed Badie shouts slogans against the Interior Ministry behind bars during the trial of 738 brotherhood members for their armed sit-in at Rabaa square, at a court on the outskirts of Cairo, Egypt May 31, 2016.

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Shawkan should be able to leave prison "within a few days", his lawyer Karim Abdelrady said as he welcomed the verdict, the AFP news agency reported.

"The death penalty should never be an option under any circumstances".

"The Egyptian authorities should be ashamed". It initially said more than 40 police had died.

On Saturday, Amnesty International condemned the sentences of the latest mass trial, which it described as "disgraceful".

Hundreds more were killed in street clashes with police over the months that followed and mass arrests were made.

Those sentenced to death by hanging include senior Brotherhood leaders Essam al Erian and Mohamed Beltagi and prominent preacher Safwat Higazi, the sources said.

The dispersal left hundreds dead including dozens of police officers.

Many have appealed and won retrials, but 26 executions have been carried out.

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