CAIRO, Egypt, An Egyptian court, on Saturday, sentenced 75 members of the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood to death, over charges of violence and murder, a judicial source said. The case, publicly known as "Breaking up Rabaa Sit-in," dated back to 2013. The convicted were charged with causing deaths of policemen, attempted murder and vandalism.
The court referred the sentence to the Grand Mufti, the country's highest Islamic official, who will give the religious judgement of all preliminary death sentences. The Mufti's opinion is non-binding as it is usually considered a formality.
The defendants included Essam El-Erian, the deputy leader of the Brotherhood's freedom and Justice Party, Moahmed al-Beltagi, secretary general of the party, Safwat Hegazi, prominent preacher of the Brotherhood, and Assem Abdel Maguid, prominent member of the group's Shura Council, as well as, other Islamist leaders.
Rabaa was one of two sites where supporters of the ousted Islamist President, Mohamed Morsi, gathered in the weeks following his overthrow, in July, 2013, in response to mass protests against his one-year rule.
The sit-in was dispersed violently by security men, after many warnings by the government. The protesters have been accused of hindering traffic, causing public disorder, terrifying the residents as they possessed weapons.
Morsi is currently serving a 20-year prison sentence, over inciting deadly clashes between his supporters and opponents in late 2012 and a 25-year jail term over leaking classified documents to Qatar.
Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK