CAIRO — Days ahead of the presidential elections set May 26 and 27, Egyptian courts Sunday sentenced 163 supporters of toppled president Mohammed Morsi to 10 to 15 years in prison over violence that erupted last year, Xinhua reported Sunday.
A court in Kafar Sheikh Delta province sentenced 126 Muslim Brotherhood supporters to 10 years in prison over violence that erupted last August in the province.
The defendants were accused of storming police stations and inciting violence following the ouster of Morsi in July last year.
Another court in the capital Cairo sentenced 37 supporters of Morsi to 15 years in prison over storming a metro station in Giza province in December last year.
They were also charged with obstructing the traffic, possession of weapons and attempt to kill a police officer, Xinhua quoted the official MENA news agency as saying.
Security forces used excessive force to disperse two major pro-Morsi sit-ins in mid-August last year in Cairo and Giza, leaving about 1,000 killed and thousands of others arrested.
In response, furious supporters of the deposed president staged anti-police rallies across the country that extended to storm police stations in dozens of provinces, including Kafar Sheikh.
The Brotherhood group was blacklisted by the interim-government last December as a “terrorist organization”.
In Sunday’s trial, the charges also included members of the blacklisted Brotherhood.
As judge Hassan Fareed of Kafar Sheikh Delta province read out the sentence, the defendants chanted “down with military rule,” in reference to the presidential candidate, former army chief Field Marshal Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, who led the overthrow of Morsi.
The sentences came after nearly 700 supporters of Muslim Brotherhood were sentenced to death last month, which sparked an international outcry and raised questions over the independence and justice of Egypt’s judiciary system.–IANS