Egyptian court sentences Muslim Brotherhood leader, 65 others, to life in prison
Story Code : 751823
On Sunday, 75-year-old Badie was convicted to life in prison over allegedly inciting members of the banned movement to attack Maghagha police station in the southern Egyptian province of Minya and killing a police officer in August 2013.
The attack came shortly after Egyptian security forces launched violent attacks on protest camps at Rabaa al-Adawiya Square in the capital, Cairo, and Nahda Square in Giza, the third largest city in Egypt.
Human Rights Watch said at the time more than 815 people had been killed only at Rabaa Square, whereas the Egyptian Health Ministry put the death toll at 638. The rights organization later said that the massacre had been one of the world’s largest in a single day in recent history.
An absolute majority of those killed were followers of Mohamed Morsi, Egypt’s first democratically-elected president, who was ousted on July 3 the same year in a military coup led by then head of the armed forces and current President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi.
According to defense lawyer Abdel Moneim Abdel Maqsood, around 700 people were tried again in this case. He said that 65 other members of the Brotherhood had also been sentenced to life in prison on Sunday, adding that 288 were acquitted, six have died since the first trial and the rest were sentenced to between three and 15 years in prison.
The rulings are the latest among several trials and retrials against Badie and other senior leaders of the Brotherhood. Badie, on trial in 35 cases related to the movement, has been sentenced to death in a number of them but the verdicts have been overturned by the Court of Cassation. He has already received life sentences, which is 25 years in Egypt, in over five cases.
Last month, the Giza Criminal Court sentenced Badie and other senior Brotherhood leaders to life in prison over similar charges in a separate case.
Death penalties have been handed down to hundreds of Brotherhood members on charges such as belonging to an illegal organization or planning to carry out attacks.
Rights groups in Egypt and across the world have recorded cases of irregularities in the trials of political prisoners in the country.
They say the army’s clampdown on the supporters of Morsi has led to the death of some 1,500 people and the arrest of 22,000 others, including 200 people who have been sentenced to death in mass trials.
The administration of Sisi has outlawed the Brotherhood organization, which is Egypt’s oldest opposition movement. The group operated under strict measures during the rule of longtime dictator Hosni Mubarak, who was himself removed from power following an uprising in 2011.
Morsi had been sentenced to death on charges of corruption, escaping from prison and inciting violence before the Court of Cassation overturned that ruling in November last year and ordered a retrial.