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28 May 2023

Egypt courts jail 113 pro-Morsi protesters

Burnt out cars are removed after being set on fire by Muslim Brotherhood supporters of ousted Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi during clashes with police in Nasr city district in Cairo on January 8, 2014. (AFP)


Courts on Thursday jailed 113 supporters of Egypt's deposed Islamist president Mohamed Morsi to up to three years for taking part in unauthorised and violent protests, judicial sources said.

One Cairo misdemeanour court condemned 63 Morsi supporters to three years in prison and fined them 50,000 Egyptian pounds ($7,200, 5,250 euros) each over protests in November, the officials said.

They can post bail of 5,000 pounds to stay out of jail until an appeal hearing.

The government installed by the military after Morsi's ouster passed a law in November banning all but police-sanctioned protests, amid a crackdown on Islamists that has killed more than 1,000 people in street clashes.

Another Cairo court sentenced 24 Morsi supporters to three years for being in a "terrorist gang" and attacking policemen in a protest, the officials said.

A Cairo court also sentenced 26 students from Al-Azhar University to two years and a half in jail for vandalism and clashes in the university's dormitory in November.

Pro-Morsi students have regularly clashed with police in protests on campuses, relative safe havens for Islamists whose street rallies are now immediately dispersed by police.

In December, the government declared Morsi's Muslim Brotherhood a "terrorist organisation" after accusing the group of responsibility for a suicide car bombing at a police building that killed 15 people.
The Brotherhood condemned the attack, which was claimed by an Al-Qaeda-inspired militant group.

The "terrorist" designation carries harsh penalties for offenders, including possible death sentences for the movement's convicted leaders and five-year jail terms for protesters.

Promoting the Brotherhood can also lead to prison sentences.

Since Morsi's overthrow last July 3, his supporters have staged near daily protests calling for his reinstatement.

The protests often descend into clashes with police and civilian opponents.

In December, a court sentenced 139 Morsi supporters to two years in prison over violence in July.
Thousands of people have been arrested in the crackdown on the Islamists, including most of the Brotherhood's leadership.

Morsi, Egypt's only democratically elected leader, is himself on trial for allegedly inciting the killings of opposition protesters during his turbulent year in power.