Egypt sentences 529 Muslim Brotherhood members to death

Egyptian relatives of supporters of ousted Islamist president Mohamed Morsi cry after the court ordered the execution of 529 Morsi supporters after only two hearings. Photo: AFP/GETTY
An Egyptian court has sentenced 529 members of the Muslim Brotherhood to death on charges including murder, a defence lawyer said, in a sharp escalation of a crackdown on the movement.
The court in Minya, about 200 kilometers south of Cairo, gave the ruling Monday in a trial that began on Saturday. Those convicted can appeal the decision.
More than 100 of the defendants were in custody, but most were tried in absentia. The court acquitted 16 people.
The charges are related to clashes in Minya last August. That violence erupted after security forces in Cairo broke up two Brotherhood protest camps, leaving hundreds of people dead.
They were protesting the army\’s ouster of president Mohamed Morsi, a Brotherhood member who has been in custody since he was removed from office in July and is facing several trials himself.
Egypt\’s interim authorities have cracked down on the Brotherhood, labeling it a terrorist group and arresting many of its leaders.
Source: Agencies
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