Egypt court gives life sentences to top Muslim Brotherhood leaders | News | DW | 28.02.2015
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Egypt court gives life sentences to top Muslim Brotherhood leaders

An Egyptian court has sentenced senior leaders of the banned Muslim Brotherhood to life imprisonment for inciting murder. Death sentences were upheld against four other group members.

A court in the Egyptian capital, Cairo, on Saturday sentenced 14 Muslim Brotherhood members to life imprisonment, including several of the group's top leaders, and upheld death sentences against four others.

Those condemned to life in prison include the Islamist group's head, Mohammed Badie (pictured above), his two deputies, and former parliamentary speaker Saad el-Katatni. The death sentences against the four other group members were handed down last year in December.

The case is related to clashes near the Brotherhood's headquarters on June 30, 2013, where at least nine people died and 91 were wounded during demonstrations calling for the resignation of then President Mohammed Morsi, a senior official in the group. Reports at the time said Brotherhood members fired on demonstrators with live rounds after the building was attacked by the protesters.

Multiple sentences

The men were accused of murder and possession of firearms, among other charges.

The death sentence rulings can be appealed.

Many of the defendants, including Badie, are already serving long or life sentences on other charges. Badie himself had a death sentence against him confirmed in June following a mass trial that provoked international criticism of Egypt's judicial system.

Mass crackdown

Morsi was deposed in July 2013 by the army, which said it was acting according to the wish of the people. Since then, Egyptian authorities have arrested some 22,000 people, both Brotherhood leaders and non-Islamist activists, and put them on trial for allegedly inciting and participating in deadly riots.

Ex-President Morsi himself is on trial and has been charged with multiple offenses. He faces the death penalty if convicted.

The Egyptian government declared the Muslim Brotherhood, once the most powerful political group in the country, to be a terrorist organization in December 2013.

The movement itself denies any involvement in violence.

tj/kms (dpa, AP)

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