Egypt hands 19 Morsi supporters lengthy prison sentences
The court found the defendants guilty of organizing street protests and provoking violence. Here, Brotherhood supporters are seen in Cairo in August 2013. (AFP/File)
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An Egyptian court has sentenced 19 anti-government protesters to ten years in prison each, judicial sources say.
This comes as a court in Tanta city in the province of al-Gharbiya found the defendants guilty of organizing street protests and provoking violence.
This is the latest in an ongoing government crackdown on opponents of the military-backed government, especially supporters of ousted president, Mohamed Morsi, and the Muslim Brotherhood movement.
Also on Wednesday, injuries and arrests were reported after Egypt security forces attacked students protesting against the military-backed government in Cairo, Alexandria and Fayoum.
The students were protesting against Egypt's former defense minister, Abdel Fattah el-Sisi’s presidential bid. The latest protest rallies come after el-Sisi officially submitted his bid to run for president.
Sisi led the overthrow of Morsi, suspended the constitution and dissolved the parliament in July last year. He is also accused of leading a severe crackdown against the supporters of Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood.
The army-backed government has detained hundreds of students since former president was ousted. More than 500 people have also been handed death sentences and hundreds of others have been handed lengthy jail terms.
The students are also calling for the release of all the detained students and the dismissal of police guards from universities.
Several international bodies and the UN Human Rights Council have expressed concern over the Egyptian security forces’ heavy-handed crackdown and the killing of peaceful anti-government protesters.
Rights groups say at least 1,400 people have been killed in the political violence since Morsi’s ouster in July last year, "most of them due to excessive force used by security forces."