28 Apr 2014

Egyptian judge sentences 720 men to death

A judge in Egypt has sentenced to death 720 men, including the head of the Muslim Brotherhood, in a pair of mass trials that were both completed after two brief court sessions. In the first case, 683 men – including the Brotherhood leader, Mohamed Badie – were sentenced to death on charges of killing a policeman in a southern Egyptian town last August.

muslim brothers

Minutes later, in a second and separate case, the same judge, Saeed Youssef, upheld the death sentences of 37 of the 529 men he notoriously sentenced to hang last month. The remaining 492 had their sentences commuted to 25-year jail terms, with all 529 convicted of killing a second police officer in a neighbouring town on the same day.

In a separate development on Monday, a Cairo court banned the 6 April youth movement, the liberal protest group charged with playing a leading role in Egypt's 2011 revolution. A spokesman for the group, Ahmad Abd Allah, said the move highlighted the extent of Egypt's counter-revolution. "It shows that it's not just the Islamists who are being targeted, it's also liberal groups like us. And [the government] will continue all the way to close down all democratic forces," Abd Allah said. "What else did you think a military coup would do? It's something expected from a military regime that has killed thousands of people, and imprisoned thousands more. And it's just the beginning."

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