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Egypt court jails dozens over 2013 pro-democracy protest

Security forces violently broke up two protest sites in Cairo and neighbouring Giza [Getty]

Date of publication: 5 May, 2019

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An Egyptian court on Sunday jailed 56 people for taking part in a 2013 protest by Muslim Brotherhood supporters that was brutally dispersed by the authorities, a judicial source said.

An Egyptian court on Sunday jailed 56 people for taking part in a 2013 protest by Muslim Brotherhood supporters that was brutally dispersed by the authorities, a judicial source said.

Security forces violently broke up two protest sites in Cairo and neighbouring Giza on 14 August 2013 in a bloody operation that Human Rights Watch says killed more than 800 demonstrators.

Supporters of Islamist president Mohammed Morsi had camped out for weeks in Cairo's Rabaa and Nahda squares after the army ousted him from power.

Rights groups have decried the "impunity" for security forces over the bloodshed as protesters have faced punishment over the clashes.

The judicial source said one of those sentenced on Sunday was given a life term, 25 years under Egyptian law, for participating in the gathering of the "Muslim Brotherhood terrorists" at Nahda Square.

Fifty-two others were handed 15 year jail terms and three more given sentences of between one and five years.

The defendants were accused by prosecutors of "endangering the lives of citizens, resisting police forces responsible for dispersing the rally, premeditated murder and carrying unlicensed weapons".

Since President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi took control after ousting Morsi the authorities have carried out a crackdown on Brotherhood members.

Egypt's courts have sentenced to death or lengthy jail terms hundreds of people after speedy mass trials, including Morsi and several leaders of his Brotherhood movement.

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

The Brotherhood was outlawed and branded a terrorist organisation in December 2013, just months after Morsi's was removed from power.

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