Egypt sentences 75 to death, hundreds to jail over 2013 sit-in

Muslim Brotherhood spiritual leader Mohamed Badie was handed a life sentence. (File/AFP)
Updated 08 September 2018
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Egypt sentences 75 to death, hundreds to jail over 2013 sit-in

  • Egypt sentenced 75 people to death over a 2013 pro-Muslim Brotherhood sit-in which ended with the killing of hundreds of protesters
  • Those sentenced to death by hanging include senior Brotherhood leaders Essam Al-Erian and Mohamed Beltagi and prominent Islamist preacher Safwat Higazi

CAIRO: An Egyptian court on Saturday issued death sentences for 75 people and jailed more than 600 others over a 2013 sit-in which ended with the killing of hundreds of protesters by security forces.
The sentencing concluded the mass trial of some 700 people accused of offenses including murder and inciting violence during the pro-Muslim Brotherhood protest at Rabaa Adawiya square in Cairo.
The government says many protesters were armed and that eight members of the security forces were killed. It initially said more than 40 police had died.
Rights groups say more than 800 protesters died in the single most deadly incident during the unrest that followed Egypt’s 2011 popular uprising. Amnesty International condemned Saturday’s decision, calling the trial “disgraceful.”
In Saturday’s hearing at the vast Tora prison complex south of Cairo, a criminal court sentenced to death by hanging several prominent figures including senior Brotherhood leaders Essam Al-Erian and Mohamed Beltagi and preacher Safwat Higazi.
Muslim Brotherhood spiritual leader Mohamed Badie and dozens more were given life sentences, judicial sources said. Others received jail sentences ranging from five to 15 years.
Cases were dropped against five people who had died while in prison, judicial sources said, without giving further details.
Following weeks of protests in 2013 against the ouster of Islamist President Mohamed Mursi by the military, security forces violently broke up the demonstrators at Rabaa square.
They arrested hundreds of people who were charged with inciting violence, murder and organizing illegal protests.
Rights groups have criticized the trial for including many peaceful protesters and journalists.
An award-winning photographer who covered the protests, Mahmoud Abu Zeid, was sentenced to five years in jail, but would soon be released because his five years in detention during the trial are counted toward the sentence, judicial sources said.
Abu Zeid, also known as Shawkan, was awarded a United Nations press freedom prize this year. He was charged with belonging to a banned group and possessing firearms.


8 EU countries urge Israel to reconsider village demolition

It rebuked the Israeli High Court’s Sept. 5 decision to demolish the desert community. (AP)
Updated 21 September 2018
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8 EU countries urge Israel to reconsider village demolition

  • The eight countries are France, Netherlands, Poland, Sweden, United Kingdom, Belgium, Germany and Italy

UNITED NATIONS: Eight European Union nations are underlining their opposition to Israel’s planned demolition of the Palestinian village of Khan Al-Ahmar and are urging its government to reconsider the decision.
The statement was read by Dutch Ambassador Karel Van Oosterom outside the UN Security Council on Thursday. It rebuked the Israeli High Court’s Sept. 5 decision to demolish the desert community.
The eight countries are France, Netherlands, Poland, Sweden, United Kingdom, Belgium, Germany and Italy. They say in the statement that they “will not give up on a negotiated two-state solution with Jerusalem as a capital” of both Israel and a new Palestinian state.
That was an implicit slap at US President Donald Trump’s declaration in December that contested Jerusalem is the capital of Israel.