Egyptians call for massive protests in response to Muslim Brotherhood sentences
Egypt's anti-coup alliance has called for massive protest rallies following the death sentences handed out to hundreds of Muslim Brotherhood members.
The coalition, which is made up of dozens of parties and groups, has urged the Egyptians to flock to Cairo's Liberation, Rabia, and Nahdah squares on Wednesday to protest the verdict.
This comes after a court in the city of Minya sentenced over 500 supporters of ousted president, Mohamed Morsi, to death.
"The court has decided to sentence to death 529 defendants and 16 were acquitted," media outlets quoted lawyer, Ahmed al-Sharif, as saying on Monday.
The case is in connection with the killing of a police officer and other acts of violence in the volatile city.
The verdict, which was handed only three days after the opening of the case and without the defense being heard, may be appealed.
Figures show Egypt’s military-backed government has jailed nearly 16,000 people since July 2013, when Morsi was ousted.
The United Nations Human Rights Council recently expressed concern over the Egyptian security forces’ heavy-handed crackdown and the killing of peaceful anti-government protesters.
Last year, the Muslim Brotherhood movement was listed by Egyptian authorities as a terrorist group.
Human Rights Watch recently denounced Egypt’s interim government for blacklisting the Muslim Brotherhood, saying the move “appears to be aimed at expanding the crackdown on peaceful Brotherhood activities and imposing harsh sanctions on its supporters.”
Rights groups say at least 1,400 people have been killed in the political violence since the ouster of Morsi, “most of them due to excessive force used by security forces.”
Anti-government demonstrators have been holding rallies almost on a daily basis since the army toppled Morsi, Egypt’s first democratically-elected president. The demonstrators demand that Morsi be reinstated.