Egypt court hands down jail terms to dozens of protesters
A court in Egypt has sentenced dozens of Muslim Brotherhood supporters to jail over accusations that they were involved in acts of violence during anti-government protests.
The criminal court in the southern province of Sohag on Thursday sentenced 60 people to three to ten years behind bars each.
The verdict is a part of a rising crackdown against the opponents of the military-backed government in Egypt; the campaign specifically targets the members and supporters of the Brotherhood.
On Monday, another Egyptian court gave death sentences to five people believed to be the supporters of ousted President Mohamed Morsi in connection with the alleged killing of more than a dozen police officers during a deadly security crackdown near the capital, Cairo.
Egypt has been in political turmoil since the military ouster of Brotherhood-backed Morsi in 2013.
Hundreds of Morsi’s supporters have been given death sentences or jail terms after often speedy mass trials.
Morsi, Egypt’s first democratically-elected president, was toppled in a July 2013 military coup led by Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, the current president and the then head of the armed forces. The ousted president was himself given a 20-year prison term on April 21.
The United Nations has slammed the trials as unprecedented in recent history. Amnesty International, among other rights groups, has also denounced the mass trials and the heavy-handed measures taken by the Egyptian government against protesters and Morsi’s supporters.