Egypt’s military court sentences 253 to life in prison

Published August 12th, 2015 - 04:00 GMT

A military court sentenced 253 defendants tried in absentia to life in prison on Tuesday for committing acts of violence in the northern city of Beheira in 2013.

Initially, 506 defendants were facing trial, all identified as supporters of the banned Muslim Brotherhood.

The military prosecution charged the defendants with murdering 6 people, attempted murder, vandalism, breaking into a police station, helping prisoners escape, confiscating weapons and disrupting public transport.

The violence erupted on August 14, 2013, to coincide with the deadly dispersal of two camps set up in support of ousted Islamist president Mohamed Morsi in Greater Cairo; the Rabaa al-Adawiya and Nahda sit-ins.

The court sentenced 199 other defendants to times ranging from 15 to three years in prison.

The remaining 54 defendants were acquitted of the charges.

After Mursi's ouster in July 2013 following mass protests against his rule, the new regime rounded up thousands of Brotherhood members and supporters. Hundreds of pro-Mursi protesters were killed in the deadly dispersal of the Rabaa al-Adawiya and Nahda sit-ins.

Egypt listed the Brotherhood as a terrorist organisation in December 2013 and insists it is behind the stringent wave of militancy which has targeted security personnel since Mursi's ouster, leaving hundreds of casualties.

The Brotherhood continuously denies the accusations.

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