Egypt jails 36 Al-Azhar students for pro-Morsi riots
An Egyptian court sentenced 36 students from the famous Al-Azhar university to four years in prison over their roles in violent protests in support of ousted President Mohammed Morsi, judicial sources reported Sunday.
Students who support Morsi regularly stage demonstrations at Egyptian universities across the country where they call for his reinstatement. In particular, Cairo's Al-Azhar, an institution famed for its prestigious Sunni Islamic learning, is known for its protests, according to Agence France Presse (AFP).
The 36 students were found to be guilty of holding a protest in December in which they rioted, blocked the roads leading to the university and threatened the security forces, the judicial source told AFP.
The court also fined each of the students 30,000 Egyptian pounds (about $4,300/3,300 euros).
Since Morsi's overthrow in by the army last July, mass protests and demonstrations have swept Egypt and thousands of his supporters - most of them members of his Muslim Brotherhood group - have been arrested. According to AFP, more than 1,400 people have been killed in street clashes and more than 15,000 have been jailed. Recently, more than 500 Muslim Brotherhood supporters were sentenced to death after rapid mass trials.
Morsi himself faces three separate trials on different charges, including colluding with militant groups and killing protesters.