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Egyptian Court Jails 119 Morsi Supporters

  • Reuters

FILE - Egyptian lawyer and candidate for the Egyptian presidency Hazem Salah Abu Ismail, center, is guarded by his supporters at Tahrir Square during a protest against the ruling military council, in Cairo, Egypt, Oct. 28, 2011.

FILE - Egyptian lawyer and candidate for the Egyptian presidency Hazem Salah Abu Ismail, center, is guarded by his supporters at Tahrir Square during a protest against the ruling military council, in Cairo, Egypt, Oct. 28, 2011.

An Egyptian court sentenced 119 supporters of ousted president Mohamed Morsi to three years each in prison on Wednesday in connection with protests last October against his overthrow, judicial sources said.

More than 50 people were killed in the Oct. 6 protests called by Morsi's supporters, one of the bloodiest days since his overthrow by the military on July 3. Judge Hazem Hashad acquitted six people in the case. They faced charges including unlawful assembly and thuggery.

The army-backed authorities have banned the Muslim Brotherhood and driven it underground, killing hundreds of its supporters and arresting thousands in the weeks after Morsi, Egypt's first freely elected president, was toppled by the military following mass protests against his rule.

Abdel Fattah el-Sissi, the general who ousted Morsi, declared last month that he would run in a presidential election that he is expected to win easily.

In another case last month, a court in southern Egypt sentenced 529 Morsi supporters to death in a ruling that drew criticism from rights groups and Western governments.

The Muslim Brotherhood was Egypt's best organized political party until last year but the government has accused it of turning to violence since Morsi was overthrown. The Brotherhood says the group remains committed to peacefully resisting what it views as a military coup.

Many of the Brotherhood's leaders, including Morsi, are on trial. Morsi is charged with crimes including conspiring with foreign militant groups against Egypt, which carries the death penalty.

In a separate case, a judge sentenced a prominent Islamist lawyer and politician to seven years in jail on charges of forging his mother's citizenship documents so he could contest the 2012 presidential election won by Morsi.

Hazem Salah Abu Ismail, a Salafist Islamist, was arrested after Morsi's downfall. He was disqualified from the election when it emerged his mother held U.S. citizenship - dual nationality that meant he could not run.

Abu Ismail, who predicted that el-Sissi would topple Morsi long before the coup, was sentenced to an additional one year in prison on Saturday for insulting the court.
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