Egypt court acquits Muslim Brotherhood supporters in mass trial

[JURIST] An Egyptian court on Monday acquitted 169 Muslim Brotherhood [BBC backgrounder; JURIST news archive] supporters on charges relating to the violence following the ouster of president Mohammed Morsi [BBC profile; JURIST news archive] last year. The men had been charged [Reuters report] with "illegal gathering" last August but will now be released from prison. The acquittals represent a break from the pattern of mass trials of Morsi supporters resulting in convictions. Also Monday another judge convicted 62 people of involvement in last summer's violence, sentencing them up to 25 years in prison and upholding the death penalty against one. On Sunday 170 Morsi supporters were convicted [AP report] and sentenced to up to 15 years in prison.

Egyptian authorities have arrested hundreds of Morsi supporters since he was ousted last July. Last month an Egyptian judge sentenced 683 Muslim Brotherhood supporters to death [JURIST report], including the group's supreme guide, Mohamed Badie [Washington Institute backgrounder]. The judge also confirmed the death sentence of 37 of 529 Muslim Brotherhood supporters sentenced to death in March [JURIST report]. The remaining defendants' sentences were commuted to life prison.

 

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