BEIRUT

Middle East

Egypt students jailed for 4 years over violent protests

Protesters run into a student housing area of Al-Azhar University as clashes with Egyptian security forces escalate in Cairo, Egypt, Friday, May 9, 2014. (AP Photo/Mohammed Asad)

CAIRO: An Egyptian court on Sunday sentenced 36 students of the prestigious Al-Azhar university to four years in prison each over violent protests backing ousted President Mohammad Morsi, judicial sources said.

Students supporting Morsi regularly hold demonstrations calling for his release at several Egyptian universities and in particular at Cairo's Al-Azhar university, a prestigious seat of Sunni Islamic learning.

The 36 students were found guilty of holding a violent protest in December, rioting, blocking roads in front of the university and showing aggression against the security forces, the sources said.

Each of the accused was also fined 30,000 Egyptian pounds (about $4,300/3,300 euros).

Morsi was ousted by the army in July last year after mass street protests against his divisive one-year rule.

Since his overthrow, a crackdown targeting his supporters has seen more than 1,400 people killed in street clashes, over 15,000 jailed and hundreds sentenced to death after speedy mass trials.

Morsi, Egypt's first freely elected president, himself faces three trials on various charges, including colluding with militant groups.

 

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