Egypt: Prison Sentences for 63 Brotherhood Supporters

63 Muslim Brotherhood supporters given three years on charges including rioting and weapons possession.

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Elad Benari,

Muslim Brotherhood supporters (archive)
Muslim Brotherhood supporters (archive)

63 Muslim Brotherhood supporters in Egypt were sentenced Thursday to three years in jail on charges including rioting, thuggery and weapons possession, Al Arabiya reports.

It was the largest number of Brotherhood supporters sentenced in one case since the army-backed authorities began cracking down on the movement after former President Mohammed Morsi was deposed in July.

The judge set a bail of 5,000 Egyptian pounds ($720) which allows those sentenced to avoid prison while they appeal the verdict. The ruling also includes a fine of 50,000 pounds per person, according to the report.

In a different part of Cairo, another 24 Brotherhood supporters were also sentenced to three years in prison, with labor, over clashes.

The charges against them included rioting, illegal gathering, attacking the police and belonging to an armed terrorist gang.

The government accuses the Brotherhood of turning to violence since the army deposed Morsi after mass protests against his rule. The group says it is committed to peaceful protest.

Tensions in Egypt have increased in recent weeks, especially after the interim government blacklisted Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist organization and re-launched its wide-ranging crackdown on the group. 

In response to the blacklist, the Muslim Brotherhood has filed a complaint with the International Criminal Court (ICC) against the military-ruled government.

Meanwhile, Morsi’s trial on charges of inciting murder of protesters was postponed on Wednesday until February 1 after officials said that bad weather had prevented him being flown to court, according to Al Arabiya.

Morsi is to face three different trials: Prosecutors have announced he will also stand trial for espionage involving Hamas as well as for organizing prison breaks with the help of foreign groups such as Hamas and Hezbollah.