Egypt court confirms 20 death sentences over police killings

CC0

Cairo: An Egyptian court on Monday upheld death sentences for 20 Islamists convicted of killing 13 policemen during violent unrest after the military overthrow of president Mohamed Morsi in 2013.

“The verdict is final and cannot be appealed,” a judicial official said.

On August 14, 2013, a month after Morsi was overthrown by the army, security forces forcibly dispersed two pro-Morsi protest camps in Cairo in an operation that killed more than 700 people.

Hours later, a furious crowd attacked a police station in the Cairo suburb of Kerdassa, where 13 policemen were killed.

Egypt’s courts have sentenced hundreds of people to death or lengthy jail terms over the unrest, including Morsi and several leaders of his Muslim Brotherhood movement.

The same court on Monday sentenced 80 people to 25-year prison terms and a further 34 to 15 years each in jail over the Kerdassa incident. It also acquitted 21 defendants.

Earlier this month an Egyptian court upheld death sentences against 75 people in one of the largest mass trials since the 2011 that toppled longtime president Hosni Mubarak.

Former armed forces chief Abdel Fattah al-Sisi won the presidency in 2014 after leading the ouster of Morsi following mass protests against the Islamist’s rule.

Sisi won re-election with 97 percent of the vote in March this year, against a single opponent widely seen as a token challenger.