Foreign Affairs
Death sentences for 75 activists involved in protests in favour of former President Mohammed Morsi

The Egyptian Courts have pronounced their verdict in a mass trial by jury of over 700 demonstrators who had been involved in protests in favour of former President Mohammed Morsi.

The violent protests in the Egyptian capital Cairo had been organised by the Muslim Brotherhood after Morsi had been removed from power in 2013.

The Court handed down the death penalty on 75 activists, and pronounced life sentences on 47 others, among them Islamic leaders.

The human rights group Amnesty International has condemned the trial, describing it as unjust and contravening the country’s Constitution.

The violent protests had kicked off following a protest in Rabaa al Adawiya Square, during which hundreds of demonstrators had been killed by Egyptian security forces.

Earlier this year the Egyptian Parliament had granted immunity to military officials for their involvement in criminal acts committed between July 2013 and January 2016.

The officials who had undergone trial by jury had been charged with security-related crimes, including the instigation of violence and murder and the organisation of illegal protests.

The 75 death sentences had been handed down in July, and the Court confirmed the sentences today.

Those on whom sentence was pronounced include prominent political persons who used to form part of the Muslim Brotherhood, which had been bnned by the authorities. They include former official Mohammed Badie, who was sentenced to life imprisonment, and photo-journalist Mahmoud Abu Zeid, who received a five-year sentence.

Human rights groups have condemned the mass trial, and Human Rights Watch has described the killing of at least 817 demonstrators as a criminal act against humanity.

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