Egypt sentences 71 protesters to life in prison

Egypt sentences 71 protesters to life in prison
Group sentence passed over violence that erupted in response to the Rabaa al-Adawiya and al-Nahda Square massacre in 2013.
2 min read
29 April, 2015
Supporters of Morsi gather in Giza to protest against his court verdict [Anadolu]

A court in Egypt jailed 71 people to life imprisonment for burning a church near Cairo during a crackdown on supporters of ousted president Mohamed Morsi, a judicial official said.

The court on Wednesday also sentenced two minors to 10 years in jail in the same case relating to violence in August 2013.

Kafr Hakim Church was allegedly set on fire and a police station was attacked when violence erupted in the town of Kerdasa on August 14, in protests after hundreds of Morsi supporters died in a crackdown on two protest camps in the capital the same day.

Giza Criminal Court's prosecutor general referred the 73 defendants to the criminal court for trial.

They were charged with several counts, including involvement in an illegal group, possession of firearms and munitions, attempted murder, terrorising and using armed force against citizens, blocking public roads, and resisting the authorities.

The events took place on the day of the massacre that followed the breakup of the sit-ins at Rabaa al-Adawiya Sqaure and al-Nahda Square.

In a separate case, Cairo's criminal court on Wednesday sentenced to 63​ members of the anti-coup opposition, including 11 women, for their roles during clashes at al-Azhar University in December 2013.

The sentences ranged between one to seven years and in total added up to 323 years. They were also fined the equivalent of $283,150 collectively.