250 Morsi Supporters Sentenced to Life

250 Morsi Supporters Sentenced to Life250 Morsi Supporters Sentenced to Life

A military court in Egypt’s coastal city of Alexandria on Tuesday jailed 250 supporters of ousted president Mohamed Morsi, including several Muslim Brotherhood leaders, for life on violence charges, a legal source said.

The defendants are among more than 500 people being tried in relation to violence that took place in the Nile Delta province of Behira in 2013 following Morsi’s ouster in a military coup, World Bulletin reported.

Among the defendants sentenced to life are former Brotherhood lawmaker Gamal Heshmat and former governor Osama Suleiman, who are currently outside Egypt.

The court also slapped 207 defendants with jail terms ranging between five to 15 years and acquitted 54 others, according to the legal source.

Mohamed Badie, the Brotherhood’s supreme guide who had been already sentenced to death in two other trials, was sentenced to death in the Wadi Natroun prison break case. Tuesday’s rulings are still subject to appeal.

Last year, Egypt’s President Abdel-Fattah el-Sisi approved legislation allowing individuals accused of committing violations against state institutions to be referred to military courts.

The move was widely criticized by local and international rights organizations, which expressed concern that defendants would not receive fair trials before military tribunals.

Morsi, the country’s first freely-elected president, was removed from power in a military coup in July 2013. Since his overthrow, Egyptian authorities have unleashed a massive crackdown on his supporters, killing hundreds and detaining thousands.

Hundreds of political detainees have died in Egypt’s detention facilities due to medical negligence and torture, as well as substandard conditions in prisons and police stations.