Al-Azhar University students, members of the Muslim Brotherhood and supporters of ousted Egyptian President Mohamed Mursi, set fires during clashes inside the university, in Cairo December 9, 2013. REUTERS/Mohamed Abd El Ghany
CAIRO, Apr 29 (Aswat Masriya) – The Cairo Criminal Court acquitted on Wednesday 13 defendants of the charge of rioting in al-Azhar University in December 2013, sentencing 63 others to prison in the same case.
The acquitted defendants include a photojournalist, Ahmed Zeyada.
The 63 sentenced defendants received prison sentences ranging from a year to seven years’ hard labour.
All defendants were accused of organising an assembly with the purpose of vandalising public and private property, threatening public employees, assaulting security personnel and torching a university building, among other charges.
Violence broke out at the Azhar University on December 28, 2013, amid student protests in support of ousted Islamist president Mohamed Mursi.
Mursi’s military ouster in July 2013, which was prompted by mass protests against his rule, was met with nationwide protests by his supporters which soon spiraled into violence.