Egypt: 79 Morsi supporters sentenced to lengthy jail terms

Published May 15th, 2014 - 04:00 GMT

An Egyptian court on Wednesday sentenced 79 supporters of former Islamist president Mohamed Morsi to prison terms of between five and 10 years over their involvement in the country's unrest, juidical sources reported.

The defendants are accused of clashing with opponents and participating in pro-Morsi clashes that resulted in the deaths of 12 people in the city of Alexandria last July after the president was ousted by the army, according to Agence France Presse (AFP).

Following Morsi's removal from office, his loyalists have been holding weekly protests calling for him to be reinstated. These demonstrations often turn violent with the state security forces being pitted against civilians.

Eleven defendants in Wednesday's trial were given 10 years in jail, 13 were jailed for seven years, 55 were jailed for five years and seven acquitted, the sources added, according to AFP.

The defendants were accused of murder, attempted murder, carrying weapons, and torturing 16 people in an Alexandria mosque, AFP reported.

Since Morsi's ouster, some 1,400 people have been killed in clashes and more than 16,000 people have been arrested and thrown into jail. Hundreds of Muslim Brotherhood loyalists have also been sentenced to death in mass trials that garnered international media attention. 

Morsi himself faces three trials on various charges. During his time in court, Morsi regularly states that he is the legitimate leader of Egypt.


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