Egypt: 188 sentenced to death over Kerdasa attack

Egypt: 188 sentenced to death over Kerdasa attack
Defendants condemned after being accused of attacking a police station in August 2013.
2 min read
03 December, 2014
Mohamed Badie (2nd R) and co-defendants gesture during their trial, 7 June 2014 [AFP].
A group of 188 people have been sentenced to death after being accused of killing police officers at Giza's Kerdasa police station near Cairo in August 2013.

The condemned will have their sentences reviewed by the Grand Mufti, whose verdict will be announced on 24 January.

In total, 151 of the accused are already in custody, the other 37 were convicted in absentia.

The ruling comes days after former President Hosni Mubarak, his sons Alaa and Gamal, six of his associates and fugitive businessman Hussein Salem were acquitted. They had been accused of corruption, murdering more than 500 protesters and injuring thousands of others during the 2011 revolution.

The defendants in the police station attack were
arrested after a widespread campaign against supporters of ousted Islamist President Mohamed Morsi.

The Egyptian police reported they arrested nearly 500 "bearded" men from the town of Kerdasa, a hotbed of opposition to the July 2013 military coup. Some were referred to the criminal court, others released and the rest detained without formal charge.

     The accused were arrested after a widespread campaign against Morsi supporters.

The judge, Mohamed Nagy Shehata, was previously accused of forging parliamentary election results in the Mediterranean port city of Damietta during Mubarak's rule.

Shehata was mentioned in a police report filed by lawyers Rajia Omran and Ali Taha blacklisting 22 judges accused of forging election results.

Shehata was also involved the trial of 14 Muslim Brotherhood leaders - including the group's General Guide Mohamed Badie - for protests following the ousting of Mohamed Morsi.

He was rewarded with international infamy after jailing journalists accused of broadcasting anti-government footage on the al-Jazeera TV network.

Sisi speaks

"The government is currently working on a law that will criminalise insulting the 25 January 2011 and 30 June 2013 revolutions," President abdel-Fatteh al-Sisi told reporters in a statement.

This has been seen as an attempt to shore up the Sisi regime's "revolutionary" credentials after Mubarak's acquittal on charges of murdering protesters.

"The January revolution was a real revolution carried out by loyal Egyptian youths and citizens. We are working to achieve their goals of bread, freedom and human dignity," he added.

Sources attending the meeting when the statement was released told al-Araby al-Jadeed that the president was concerned about further protests.

"Sisi was clearly concerned about the consequences of Mubarak's acquittal and the increasing anger of young Egyptians."

espite glorifying the January revolution, Sisi refused to comment on Mubarak's acquittal, but continued to emphasise his confidence in the integrity and efficiency of Egypt’s judiciary system.

This article is an edited translation from our Arabic edition.