Egypt continued its mass trials in courts on May 18, which become the latest in a series of convictions over recent months. Prosecutors in Egypt have identified hundreds of people as President Mohammed Morsi supporters.
Some of the supporters were sentenced to death, others were imprisonment.
In some cases, the verdicts came after no more than two hearings, drawing criticism from human rights activists and foreign governments as Egypt’s military-backed interim government continues its crackdown on Morsi supporters and his Muslim Brotherhood group.
The Kafr el-Sheikh court convicted 127 people of storming and torching a church, a police station and a sports stadium to avenge the killing of hundreds of Islamists when security forces ended two sit-in protests in Cairo by Morsi supporters in August, according to a statement by the office of Egypt’s top prosecutor. They were sentenced to 10 years in prison each. Five minors, all 17 years old, each received a one-year suspended sentence in the same case, the statement said.
The second court in Cairo sentenced 37 people to 15 years in prison each for their part in an attempt to blow up a subway station in Cairo last year, in addition to charges of vandalism, illegal possession of explosives, arms and ammunition along with disrupting public and private transport, said the statement from the chief prosecutor’s office.
A 16-year-old boy received a three-year prison sentence in the same case. The court also fined all the defendants 20,000 Egyptian pounds ($2,800) each.
To date, authorities have detained some 16,000 Brotherhood supporters, including Morsi and most of the group’s top leaders, following the July 3 military overthrow of his government. Many of them are on trial on charges that vary between espionage, inciting murder to corruption.
In April, an Egyptian judge sentenced the Brotherhood’s spiritual leader, Mohammd Badie, and 682 others to death, drawing worldwide rebuke. However, the trials have continued with many Egyptians appearing to approve of the heavy-handed measures as a way to end the turmoil roiling their country since its 2011 revolt against autocrat Hosni Mubarak.
On Sunday, a judge said he would announce a verdict June 7 in a case involving Badie and 47 other defendants charged with cutting off a major road north of Cairo as part of a wave of post-Morsi protests last summer.