Egyptian court overturns death sentences for 149 Muslim Brotherhood supporters

Published February 3rd, 2016 - 10:00 GMT
Muslim Brotherhood supporters of former president Mohammad Morsi are seen in a protest in Cairo in 2013. (File)
Muslim Brotherhood supporters of former president Mohammad Morsi are seen in a protest in Cairo in 2013. (File)

An Egyptian appeals court overturned Wednesday death sentences handed down for 149 supporters of former president Mohammad Morsi accused of killing policemen during an attack on a police station, AFP reported.

A judicial source said the court ordered a retrial for the defendants involved in the attack, in which 13 policemen were killed on Aug. 14, 2013, the same day that police shot hundreds of pro-Muslim Brotherhood supporters in Cairo.

The initial ruling in Feb. 2015 came amidst a series of mass trials as Egypt cracked down on supporters of ousted president Morsi. The court also sentenced 37 people in absentia, but they would have to turn themselves in for a retrial.

The court has overturned hundreds of death sentences over the past year, to the relief of human rights organizations, however the reason for the appeals is not immediately clear.

Since the 2013 overthrow of Mohammad Morsi, seven have been executed, of whom six were convicted of belonging to an Islamist militant group.

The ouster of Morsi, Egypt's first freely elected president, ushered in some of the worst bloodshed in Egypt's modern history. Following his overthrow, protests in support of Morsi were broken up by police firing live ammunition, and in Aug. 2013, police broke up two protest camps, killing some 700 protesters.


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