BEIRUT

Middle East

Egypt jails 19 Morsi supporters for five years

An Egyptian waits for a bus in front of banners supporting presidential candidate Abdel-Fattah Sisi, the country's former military chief, two days before presidential elections, in Cairo, Egypt, Saturday, May 24, 2014. (AP Photo/Amr Nabil)

CAIRO: An Egyptian court jailed 19 supporters of ousted Islamist president Mohammad Morsi for five years Saturday for storming the offices of the head of the prestigious Al-Azhar Islamic institution, judicial sources said.

The army-installed government has rounded up thousands of Morsi's supporters and tried them in mass hearings since his ouster in July last year.

The defendants were accused of damaging public property, assaulting civil servants, blocking roads and displaying aggression for storming the offices of the head of the Al-Azhar institution in Cairo in November, the sources said.

Each defendant was also fined 20,000 Egyptian pounds ($ 2,850).

A minor involved in the case was sentenced to three years in juvenile detention, while one Turkish national was acquitted of the charges, they added.

Following the ouster of Morsi, Egypt's first democratically elected, civilian president, his supporters have staged protests that have often degenerated into violent street clashes with security forces and civilian opponents.

At least 1,400 people, mostly Islamists, have been killed in these clashes, and more than 15,000 jailed.

Hundreds have been sentenced to death after speedy trials.

 

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