Egypt sentences 75 to death, jails hundreds, over Rabaa protests

Egypt sentences 75 to death, jails hundreds, over Rabaa protests
The case relates to the 2013 Rabaa massacre that left nearly 1,000 dead. No police have been brought to account for opening fire on protesters.
2 min read
08 September, 2018
Detainees during a trial of 700 defendants in Cairo [Getty]

An Egyptian court sentenced 75 people to death on Saturday for their involvement in a 2013 sit-in protest by Islamists that was violently put down by security forces and led to nearly 1,000 dead.

In a case involving 739 defendants facing charges ranging from murder to damaging property, the court also sentenced to life in prison the head of the Muslim Brotherhood, Mohammed Badie, and 46 others.

The 2013 sit-in at Rabaa Square was staged by supporters of the deposed former president Mohammed Morsi. He was ousted in a coup by Egypt's current President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, following days of protests against Morsi's tenure. 

One of Morsi's sons, Osama, was among 22 defendants who received 10-year jail terms on Saturday.

A total of 374 were sentenced to 15 years and 215 defendants to five years. Proceedings were dropped against five defendants who have died since the trial began.

Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch say at least 40,000 people were arrested in the first year after Morsi's ouster on 3 July, 2013.

Egypt's courts have sentenced hundreds of them to death or lengthy jail terms after speedy mass trials that human rights groups said made a mockery of due process.

They include Morsi and several leaders of his Brotherhood movement.

Meanwhile, no members of the Egyptian security forces or Cairo authorities have been held accountable for the Rabaa massacre.

"We condemn today's verdict in the strongest terms," Amnesty International said in a statement. "The fact that not a single police officer has been brought to account ... shows what a mockery of justice this trial was."

Agencies contributed to this report. 

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