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Sunday, August 23, 2015

Egypt: Muslim Brotherhood leaders sentenced to life in prison by Egyptian Court

Muslim Brotherhood Supreme Guide Mohamed Badie during
the court session
(Image: The Daily Mail)
Port Said Criminal Court sentences prominent Muslim Brotherhood leaders including the group’s Supreme Guide Mohamed Badie and top leaders Mohamed El-Beltagi and Safwat Hegazi to life imprisonment during its Saturday session on 22 August. Mohamed Badie and his co-defendants were accused of inciting violence in the case of storming police station in the city of Port Said in August 2013, in the wave of pro-Morsi protests nationwide held after Morsi’s ouster and pro-Morsi sit in dispersals.

Port Said Criminal Court sentenced 95 defendants in this case on Saturday, including Muslim Brotherhood leaders and prominent members. Mohamed Badie, Mohamed El-Beltagi, Safwat Hegazi and other 16 co-defendants were sentenced to life in prison, 28 other defendants received 10 years terms in prison, while other 76 people were given sentences in absentia. A life sentence in Egypt means 25 years in jail, according to the country’s Penal Code.

Mohamed Badie and other defendants were found guilty of inciting Muslim Brotherhood members and supporters to storm Al-Arab Police Station in the city of Port Said in August 2013 in order to kill police officers and security personnel, steal the weapons and release detainees. The clashes resulted in death of five people and dozens of injuries.

After the Court declared its sentences, the defendants were reportedly chanting against the current Egyptian government and were showing the four-finger sign, the so called “Rabaa sign” for the Rabaa Al-Adaweya pro-Morsi sit-ins held in Cairo and violently dispersed by the state security forces in August 2013 and followed by the massive crackdown on Islamists in Egypt.

Muslim Brotherhood Supreme Guide Mohamed Badie was declared guilty in several other cases and received several death and life imprisonment sentences.

Mohamed Badie was sentenced to death along with other 683 defendants, members of Muslim Brotherhood, in April 2014 in the case of storming police station in the city of Minya. The court ruling in this case was overturned in February 2015.

In July 2014 Mohamed Badie, Safwat Hegazi and Mohamed El-Beltagi received death sentence in the case of inciting violence in the Qalyoubiya clashes that led to death of two civilians.

In May 2015 Mohamed Badie and other prominent Islamists, including Egyptian former President Mohamed Morsi, were sentenced to death in the “Wadi El-Natroum prison break” case.