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Egypt Refers 271 Muslim Brotherhood Supporters to Military Court

Al-Akhbar | February 27, 2015

Egyptian prosecutors referred 271 people to a military court on charges of belonging to the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood group and attacking court buildings in central Egypt two years ago.

The defendants were charged with ransacking and torching a court building, as well as a prosecution office in the city of Malawi in the Minya province, in August of 2013.

The attack on Malawi’s official buildings happened following the dispersal of two major protest camps staged by supporters of ousted President Mohammed Mursi in Cairo and Giza, during which police and security forces killed more than 1,400 people.

Egyptian prosecutors are legally permitted to refer cases to the military prosecution in cases involving charges of vandalizing government property.

In October of last year, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi issued a law that allows the referral of violations against state institutions to military courts.

The move was widely criticized by local and international rights organizations, which voiced fear that defendants would not receive fair trials before military courts.

In recent days, prosecutors referred 570 people to military trials on similar charges.

After Sisi’s rise to power, more than 15,000 Mursi supporters were imprisoned, while scores have been sentenced to death after speedy trials which the United Nations has denounced as “unprecedented in recent history.”

Mursi and many top leaders of his now-banned Muslim Brotherhood are themselves in jail and on trial in cases in which they face the death penalty if convicted.

Besides Islamists, many of the leading secular activists behind the 2011 uprising have also found themselves on the wrong side of the new political leadership, getting locked up for taking part in peaceful demonstrations following a ban on unlicensed protests.

(Anadolu, Al-Akhbar)

February 27, 2015 - Posted by | Civil Liberties, Subjugation - Torture | ,

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