Egypt court sentences 51 in prison for violence during constitutional referendum

Published June 4th, 2015 - 06:59 GMT

An Egyptian Criminal Court sentenced on Thursday 51 defendants to prison for periods ranging from three to 10 years, accusing them of committing violence during a constitutional referendum last year.

The defendants, who were sentenced in the Upper Egyptian governorate of Sohag, are believed to be supporters of the banned Muslim Brotherhood.

They are accused of complicity in the violence which erupted during a referendum on Egypt's constitution in January 2014. The violence left four people killed and two security personnel injured.

Of the 51 defendants, 42 were sentenced to 10 years, three were sentenced to five years and six more were sentenced to three years. Twenty-seven defendants were sentenced in session; the rest were sentenced in absentia.

Three defendants were acquitted in the case.

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. The Brotherhood continuously denies this.

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