Egyptian Court Hands Down Death Sentence for Over 700 Muslim Brotherhood Members

Muslim Brotherhood supporters
Muslim Brotherhood supporters

An Egyptian court has recommended the death penalty for the leader of the now-banned Muslim Brotherhood and 682 supporters, state television said Monday.

The same court also handed down a final capital punishment ruling for 37 others.

Charges in both cases, which were tried by the same judge, are related to violent riots in the central Egyptian city of Minya in August, including the murder of a police officer.

Mohammed Badie, the Brotherhood’s general guide, is among 683 supporters of ousted President Mohamed Morsy whose death sentences are not final — as the case has been referred to the nation’s grand mufti, Egypt’s highest religious authority, for review.

In the second case, relating to 529 Muslim Brotherhood supporters sentenced to death last month, the judge upheld 37 death sentences. The rest saw their sentences commuted to life in prison.

Most of the people sentenced are being tried in absentia. All defendants are still permitted to appeal.

Egypt has faced unending turmoil since the uprising that toppled longtime leader Hosni Mubarak in 2011. Since the army removed the Brotherhood from power last July, the country has suffered the worst internal strife in its modern history. Morsy and other Brotherhood leaders were rounded up soon after his removal from office.

Cairo’s military-installed government has branded the Brotherhood a terrorist group, an allegation it denies.

Separately, a Cairo court ordered a ban on all activities of the secular pro-democracy April 6 Youth Movement on charges of espionage and defaming the state, state media reported.

The Cairo Court of Urgent Matters also ordered the seizure of the group’s premises. The movement helped ignite the uprising that toppled Mubarak. The ruling can still be appealed.

SOURCE: Sarah Sirgany and Marie-Louise Gumuchian

CNN’s Reza Sayah and Schams Elwazer contributed to this report.

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