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Egypt sentences 529 Muslim Brotherhood supporters to death

AFP

An Egyptian court on Monday sentenced 529 supporters of ousted president Mohamed Morsi to death after a mass trial, lawyers said.

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The decision by the court in the southern city of Minya signaled an escalation in the crackdown against Morsi’s Islamist Muslim Brotherhood movement.

A large majority of those sentenced to death on Monday are fugitives, with just 153 in detention.

Those sentenced are among more than 1,200 Morsi supporters on trial in Minya. A second group of about 700 defendants will be in the dock on Tuesday.

Members of the Muslim Brotherhood and supporters of Morsi have been the target of Egypt’s military-led government since his ousting in July, with hundreds of people killed and thousands arrested, according to international rights groups.

Those convicted on Monday are part of a group charged over the killing of a police officer in Minya, the attempted killing of two others, attacking a police station and other acts of violence.

The defendants were arrested in the wake of violent demonstrations after a brutal police crackdown on pro-Morsi sit-ins in Cairo on August 14.

They include several top Muslim Brotherhood leaders, including its supreme guide Mohamed Badie. The government has declared the movement a terrorist group.

Sixteen suspects were acquitted, according to lawyers. The ruling can be appealed.

Morsi is himself on trial in three different cases, including one for inciting the killing of protesters outside a presidential palace while he was in power.

The former president was removed after just 12 months in office following mass street protests against his rule.

(FRANCE 24 with AFP, AP)

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