CAIRO, May 30 (Aswat Masriya) – An Egyptian court sentenced on Monday the supreme guide of the now-banned Muslim Brotherhood and 35 alleged members of the group to life in prison over clashes that took place in the Ismailia province in 2013.
The Ismailia events occurred on July 5, 2013, two days after former president Mohamed Mursi, who hails from the Muslim Brotherhood, was militarily ousted following mass protests against his rule.
Mursi’s supporters and security forces clashed outside the local government’s headquarters and three persons were killed along with tens other injured.
Besides the Ismailia clashes, violence ensued in several areas across the country in the wake of Mursi’s ouster, which was led by then-Defence Minister Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, who became the country's president after a sweeping victory in the 2014 presidential election.
Prosecutors had referred the Muslim Brotherhood’s Supreme Guide Mohamed Badie and 104 others in this case to criminal court on a string of charges that included organising a gathering outside Ismailia’s local government building, jeopardising public peace, attempting to destroy public property and attacking police personnel while on duty.
Nine other defendants were sentenced to 15 years in prison in the same case, while 20 were sentenced to 10 years and 20 others to three years. The court also acquitted 20 persons.
Today’s verdict was issued by the Ismailiya Criminal Court and it is subject to appeal before the Court of Cassation, the highest judicial body in the Egyptian court system.
Badie is standing trial in a number of cases on charges such as killing protesters and inciting violence.
He was previously sentenced to death in two court cases, but the sentences are not final and may be appealed.
Authorities have led a crackdown on Muslim Brotherhood members and supporters since Mursi was overthrown. Mursi himself is in jail, facing a string of charges in more than one court case.
Egypt listed the Brotherhood as a terrorist organisation in December 2013 and insists it is behind the wave of militancy which has targeted security personnel since Mursi’s ouster.
The Brotherhood continuously denies the accusations.