Egypt sentences 8 to death for police station attack

Egypt sentences 8 to death for police station attack
Death sentence verdicts handed to Egypt's grand mufti for non-binding approval as mass trials of protesters continue.
2 min read
30 July, 2017
The police attack occurred on a day in which over 600 protesters were killed [Getty]

An Egyptian criminal court on Saturday preliminarily sentenced eight people to death over charges of murder during an attack on a police station in a Cairo suburb in 2013.

The attack took place during protests against the military coup led by current president Abdel Fattah al-Sisi.

Saturday’s ruling referred the case to the Grand Mufti — the country’s top theological authority — to solicit his non-binding opinion on the sentences, a formality in cases of capital punishment.

The attack, which killed six police officers, followed the deadly dispersal by security forces in Aug 2013 of two Cairo sit-in protests staged by supporters of Islamist President Mohammed Morsi, ousted a month earlier by the military after one year in office.

At least 600 Morsi supporters were killed by government forces on that day.

Since the overthrow of Egypt's first democratically-elected president Mohammad Morsi in 2013, mass trials have become a common occurrence.

This has formed a key feature of the presidency of former army general Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, who has led a far-reaching crackdown on public protest and dissent.

Rights groups in Egypt and abroad have harshly criticised the Egyptian government for its human rights record. 

While many have been jailed for protest-related activity under President Sisi, the army strongman's presidency also oversaw the release of ex-president Mubarak from detention six years after his overthrow.