Egyptian court sentences 75 to death over Muslim Brotherhood protest

A Cairo court on Saturday issued the death sentence for 75 Muslim Brotherhood members for participating in protests following the removal of Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi in 2013.

Egyptian supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood hold pictures of deposed president Mohamed Morsi as they shout slogans at Rabia al-Adawiyya Square during a protest following the military coup in Cairo, Egypt in 2013. On Saturday, a Cairo court issued death sentences for 75 Muslim Brotherhood members for participating in the 2013 protests. Photo by Ahmed Jomaa/UPI | License Photo
Egyptian supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood hold pictures of deposed president Mohamed Morsi as they shout slogans at Rabia al-Adawiyya Square during a protest following the military coup in Cairo, Egypt in 2013. On Saturday, a Cairo court issued death sentences for 75 Muslim Brotherhood members for participating in the 2013 protests. Photo by Ahmed Jomaa/UPI | License Photo

The sentencing was part of a trial for 739 defendants who were arrested for participating in a month-long sit-in in Cairo to protest Morsi’s ouster.

Human rights organization Amnesty International called the trial a “grotesque parody of justice.”

The National Council for Human Rights said along with the arrests, 632 were killed and 1492 injured during the dispersal of the sit-in.

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The verdicts, given by judge Hassan Farid el-Shami, were for offenses ranging from murder to being part of an illegal gathering.

Those receiving death sentences include Muslim Brotherhood leaders, a politician, a preacher and a former youth minister. The court sentenced 47 of the defendants to life in prison and handed out prison sentences starting at five years and up for others, including a five-year term for photojournalist Mahmoud Abu Zeid.

“He already spent five years, which means he will get out,” the photojournalist’s lawyer, Karim Abdel Rady, said.

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Morsi was democratically elected president in 2012, then overthrown the following year by a military coup. His party, the pan-Arab Muslim Brotherhood, was outlawed, and thousands of supporters were arrested.

BySusan McFarland