Egypt court jails more than 160 Brotherhood supporters

CAIRO Sun May 18, 2014 1:57pm EDT

1 of 4. Member of the Muslim Brotherhood Mohamed Beltagy (L) speaks during his trial at a court in Cairo, May 18, 2014.

Credit: Reuters/Al Youm Al Saabi Newspaper

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CAIRO (Reuters) - An Egyptian court jailed more than 160 Muslim Brotherhood supporters to up to 15 years in prison on Sunday, pressing a crackdown on the Islamist group before a presidential election former army chief Abdel Fattah al-Sisi is expected to win.

Defendants chanted "Down with military rule" as Judge Hassan Fareed handed down 10-year jail terms to 126 Brotherhood supporters accused of violence and membership of a terrorist group in one of the cases. A further 37 people received 15-year sentences in a second case related to an alleged attempt to blow up a Cairo metro station.

The security forces have detained thousands of Brotherhood supporters since the military deposed president Mohamed Mursi last July following mass protests against his rule.

Sisi, expected to easily win the May 26-27 vote, has signaled there will be no reconciliation with the Brotherhood.

Brotherhood leader Mohamed Badie, who was among 683 people sentenced to death last month, made a rare address in court, rejecting the accusations leveled against his group.

"We have never responded to any attack against us with violence," said Badie, addressing the judge in footage uploaded to Youtube. The judiciary was being used in a political conflict the likes of which Egypt had never seen before, he said.

The government declared the Brotherhood a terrorist group after an upsurge in attacks on the police and army following Mursi's removal from power. Many of the attacks have been claimed by radical Islamist groups such as Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis.

Mursi is one of many Brotherhood leaders now standing trial. He faces charges including conspiring with the Palestinian group Hamas against Egypt. Badie described that charge as "lies and falsehood".

($1 = 7.1126 Egyptian Pounds)

(Writing by Tom Perry; Editing by Michael Georgy and Angus MacSwan)

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Comments (2)
As long as Generalissimo Sisi refrains from attacking Israel and so long as he helps Israel keep the stateless Palestinians imprisoned in Gaza, the junta leader will enjoy the financial support of the USA… that Hope & Change thing was empty rhetoric, for consumption by gullible voters. Obama = Neocon Lite.

The US will eventually pay a heavy price for letting Israel determine US policy in the ME and for colluding with this murderous Egyptian regime; we never seem to learn from past mistakes.

May 18, 2014 9:59am EDT  --  Report as abuse
BanglaFirst wrote:
Devil despot Sisi and his civilian goons will not silence the majority and curtail democracy. Evil Sisi will be neutralized just as all despots are vanished so his days are numbered along with his thuggish supporters.

May 18, 2014 11:21am EDT  --  Report as abuse
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