Middle East

Egypt court jails 79 Morsi supporters from five to ten years

A student supporter of the Muslim Brotherhood and ousted President Mohamed Mursi holds a yellow flag bearing the four-fingered Rabaa sign as he stands with others amidst tear gas fired by riot police after clashes broke out during a demonstration outside Cairo University May 14, 2014. (REUTERS/Mohamed Abd El Ghany)

CAIRO: An Egyptian court Wednesday sentenced 79 supporters of ousted president Mohamed Morsi to jail terms of between five and 10 years over their involvement in deadly clashes, judicial sources said.

The defendants were convicted for participating in clashes between Morsi supporters and opponents that killed 12 people in the Mediterranean city of Alexandria last July, after the military overthrew the Islamist president, the sources said.

Since Morsi's ouster, his supporters have been staging weekly protests calling for his reinstatement.

The rallies have often degenerated into violent street clashes with security forces and civilian opponents.

Eleven defendants were given 10 years in jail, 13 were jailed for seven years, 55 were jailed for five years and seven acquitted, the sources added.

They were accused of murder, attempted murder, carrying weapons, and torturing 16 people in an Alexandria mosque, the sources said.

At least 1,400 people, mostly Islamists, have been killed in street clashes since Morsi's overthrow, and thousands have been jailed.

Hundreds have been sentenced in mass trial.

Morsi himself faces three trials on various charges, including collusion with militant groups.

Almost 500 security men have also been killed in a wave of militant attacks carried out in retaliation for the crackdown on Morsi supporters.





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