Egypt court jails 262 for offenses at 2013 Cairo sit-in

Ousted Egyptian President Mohamed Mursi looks on during a trial session on charges of espionage in Cairo. (EPA)
Updated 09 January 2018
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Egypt court jails 262 for offenses at 2013 Cairo sit-in

CAIRO: An Egyptian court jailed 262 people from three years to life on Tuesday for security-related offenses during a 2013 sit-in protest against the ousting of former president Mohammed Mursi of the Muslim Brotherhood, judicial sources said.
They were charged with causing the deaths of two policemen during clashes at Al-Nahda square in Giza in southern Cairo, as well as other counts of attempted murder and vandalism.
Seventeen people were sentenced to life in prison, 223 were given 15 years and another 22 accused were given three years.
The court acquitted 115 others accused in the case.
Al-Nahda square was one of two sites where Mursi supporters gathered in the weeks following his overthrow by the military in July 2013 led by then general and now President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi. Sissi was elected in 2014 and is expected to seek a second term in a March vote this year.
Authorities broke up the two sit-ins — at Al-Nahda and Rabaa squares — in August 2013, killing hundreds of protesters. Protests were banned shortly after the two pro-Mursi camps were dispersed and scores were arrested.
Hundreds of Mursi sympathizers have been detained and prosecuted since his ousting. Egypt has banned the Muslim Brotherhood, deeming it a terrorist organization.
The government accuses the Brotherhood of fomenting an insurgency since Mursi’s removal. Militant attacks have killed hundreds of Egyptians, mostly soldiers and police.
Security forces have killed hundreds and detained thousands of members of the group, which says it is committed to political change through peaceful means only.
The court also ordered on Tuesday that those sentenced be fined a total of nearly 40 million Egyptian pounds ($2.27 million) for damaging public property.


Assad regime ‘using Daesh to justify atrocities’

Updated 20 min 50 sec ago
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Assad regime ‘using Daesh to justify atrocities’

  • Syrian government claims Daesh fighters killed at least 25 regime troops in a surprise attack near the eastern Syrian town of Mayadeen
  • Opposition leader says the regime forces’ fight against Daesh as a sham and said the terror group was a gun for hire

JEDDAH: Bashar Assad’s forces are using the threat of Daesh to justify brutal acts against civilians, Syrian opposition spokesman Yahya Al-Aridi said.

His remarks on Thursday came as Daesh fighters killed at least 25 regime troops in a surprise attack near the eastern Syrian town of Mayadeen, surrendered by the terror group six months ago.

At least 13 insurgents were killed in the raid, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

Daesh was continuing its advance on the town from the Badia desert, observatory director Rami Abdel Rahman said.

The attack was the largest since the terror group was expelled from the town in October 2017, he added.

However, the opposition spokesman described the regime forces’ fight against Daesh as a sham and said the terror group was a gun for hire.

“As for those so-called 25 regime soldiers, the regime is abducting people, training them on how to pull the trigger and sending them to die.

“They are being used to send a message that the regime is still fighting terrorism,” Al-Aridi told Arab News.

He claimed that Mayadeen “still holds people who could be classified as Daesh, and the regime exploits that any time it wants.”

Regime airstrikes and artillery fire also pounded Daesh-occupied areas in the south of Damascus on Thursday. Warplanes targeted “the dens of terrorists from Al-Nusra Front and Daesh in Hajjar Al-Aswad,” a southern district of the capital, pro-Assad media said.

Iraq’s air force also carried out “deadly” airstrikes on Daesh positions inside Syria, Prime Minister Haider Abadi’s office said.

Meanwhile, the US warned that the Assad regime could still carry out limited chemical attacks despite last week’s coalition strikes. Gen. Kenneth McKenzie, director of the US military’s Joint Staff, said the regime retained a “residual” chemical capability at sites across the country.

Separately, the regime took control of Dumayr, a town northeast of Damascus, after rebels evacuated to north Syria.