Egypt sentences 24 Muslim Brotherhood members to death

Egypt sentences 24 Muslim Brotherhood members to death
An Egyptian judicial source said 24 Muslim Brotherhood members were sentenced to death for the alleged killing of police officers in two separate cases.
2 min read
29 July, 2021
All 24 members were sentenced to death by an Egyptian court [Getty]

An Egyptian court on Thursday sentenced 24 Muslim Brotherhood members to death for the alleged killing of police officers in two separate cases, a judicial source said.

The Damanhour Criminal Court, north of the capital Cairo, convicted the group of several crimes, including the alleged bombing of a bus transporting police officers in the coastal Beheira governorate in 2015.

The attack killed three policemen and wounded scores of others.

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The other case, also comprised of Brotherhood members and tried by the same court, was over the killing of a policeman in 2014.

Eight of the 24 accused were tried in absentia.

Capital punishment for civilian convicts in Egypt, the Arab world's most populous country, is carried out by hanging.

The verdicts can be appealed, the source added.

Egypt outlawed the Islamist group in 2013 following the military ouster of former president Mohamed Morsi, the country's first ever democratically-elected leader.

Since leading the military takeover and becoming president, Abdel Fattah al-Sisi has cracked down on the Muslim Brotherhood, with thousands of its supporters jailed, sentenced to death, subjected to torture, abuse and medical neglect.

The Muslim Brotherhood, founded in Egypt in 1928, calls for Islam to be at the heart of public life.

It established itself as the main opposition movement in Egypt despite decades of repression, and has inspired spinoff movements and political parties across the Muslim world.

Earlier this year, Amnesty International slammed Egypt's "significant spike" in recorded executions, which saw a more than threefold rise to 107 last year, from 32 in 2019.

Read also: Saudi and UAE media celebrate Tunisian president's power grab

Earlier this month, Egypt's parliament approved legal amendments expanding the government's ability to sack civil servants with suspected links to terrorist groups without prior disciplinary action, parliamentary sources said. 

The move was described by state media as a major step in a campaign to "purify" government bodies of members of the Muslim Brotherhood, which Egypt classifies as a terrorist group. 

Many Egyptians welcomed the amendments on social media, while others expressed concerns that the state could target any employee who is not pro-government regardless of any affiliation to Islamist groups.