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Egypt court sentences 65 people over 2013 violence

The trials and death sentences have consistently drawn scathing criticism from rights groups [Getty]

Date of publication: 23 September, 2018

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An Egyptian court has sentenced 64 people to varying prison terms and one man to death over violence in 2013 when the military overthrew the elected Islamist president.

An Egyptian court has sentenced 64 people to varying prison terms and one man to death over violence in 2013 when the military overthrew the elected Islamist president.

The Sunday decision by the Minya Criminal Court included a life sentence for Mohammed Badie, the spiritual guide of the now-outlawed Muslim Brotherhood group, over events in the city of el-Adwa, south of Cairo, where a crowd raided a police station and a sergeant was killed.

The case which ran for over three years included more than 35 hearings, with testimony by the defence and witnesses.

The death sentence, issued to a man named Ahmed Ashour, will now be reviewed by Egypt's top religious authorities for their non-binding opinion. The ruling can still be appealed.

Several mass trials of Islamists that yielded dozens of death sentences have been held in Egypt since the 2013 ouster of Morsi.

The trials and death sentences have consistently drawn scathing criticism from rights groups at home and abroad, which have branded the process a mockery of justice.

The trials are part of a massive crackdown by authorities overseen by Sisi that saw the jailing of thousands of Islamists along with some of the secular, pro-democracy activists behind a 2011 popular uprising that forced autocrat Hosni Mubarak to step down after 29 years in power.

The crackdown has also enforced tighter controls over the media as well as civil society groups, rolling back most of the freedoms won by the 2011 uprising.

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