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Egypt prosecutor refers 215 MB members to trial

23 February 2015 12:57

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Egypt’s public prosecutor has referred 215 members of the Muslim Brotherhood to trial over the alleged charges of establishing a militia group.

In a statement released on Sunday, Prosecutor Hesham Barakat said the defendants were charged with forming a militant group called “Helwan Brigades”, with 125 of them already in custody and the remaining 90 facing arrest.

The prosecution’s investigation accused the group of possessing weapons, killing at least six policemen and wounding several others in the Egyptian capital Cairo.

According to reports, no date has yet been set for the trial.

Earlier this month, an appellate court in Egypt upheld death sentences against 183 Muslim Brotherhood supporters for their alleged involvement in the killing of 13 policemen in an attack on a police station in mid-August 2013.

This is while an Egyptian court dismissed a murder charge against the country’s deposed dictator, Hosni Mubarak, in connection with the killing of hundreds of demonstrators during the 2011 uprising that ended his decades-long rule.

In an election after Mubarak’s ouster, Muslim Brotherhood-backed Mohamed Morsi was elected president, but he was later ousted in a military coup led by former military chief and current President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi in July 2013.

The Egyptian government has been cracking down on any opposition since Morsi was ousted. Sisi has been accused of leading the suppression of Morsi supporters, as hundreds of them have been killed in clashes with Egyptian security forces over the past year.

Rights groups say the army’s heavy-handed crackdown on Morsi’s supporters has led to the deaths of over 1,400 people and the arrest of 22,000 others, including some 200 people sentenced to death in mass trials.

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