Egypt sentences 10 to death, 5 to life over terrorism charges
Story Code : 710568
According to state-run MENA news agency on Saturday, the convicted men are allegedly affiliated with the now-outlawed Muslim Brotherhood group and are accused of planning to assault security forces and state institutions, target Egypt’s Christian minority and disrupt public order.
The news agency, citing judicial sources, further said the rulings, which can be appealed, followed the referral of the death sentence to the Grand Mufti, the country’s top religious authority. The consultation with the mufti is a formality followed by courts in the cases of capital punishment.
MENA added that three of the 15 defendants were sentenced in absentia. Life sentences in Egypt are equal to 25 years.
The sentences are the latest to come from Egypt’s judiciary as the government of President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi faces increasing criticism over its inability to stop terrorist attacks across the country.
Experts say Sisi’s large-scale crackdown on dissent has been a main reason behind the continued unrest in Egypt.
Courts have jailed tens of thousands of members or sympathizers of the Brotherhood, while its senior leaders face death or life sentences, including former President Mohamed Morsi, who was ousted through a military coup led by Sisi in 2013 and is still behind bars in the African country.