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Egypt upholds death penalty for 12 Muslim Brotherhood members

Islamist movement activists convicted in trial relating to 2013 mass killing by security forces at pro-Morsi Islamist sit-in

A supporter of ousted Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi raises his hands with a gesture of an open palm with four raised fingers that has became a symbol for the Rabaah al-Adawiya mosque where hundreds of Muslim Brotherhood supporters were killed by security forces in August, in Ramsis Square, Cairo, Egypt (photo credit: AP)
A supporter of ousted Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi raises his hands with a gesture of an open palm with four raised fingers that has became a symbol for the Rabaah al-Adawiya mosque where hundreds of Muslim Brotherhood supporters were killed by security forces in August, in Ramsis Square, Cairo, Egypt (photo credit: AP)

CAIRO, Egypt — An Egyptian court on Monday upheld death sentences for 12 Muslim Brotherhood members, including two senior leaders of the outlawed Islamist movement, a judicial official said.

The court of cassation also reduced sentences for 31 other Brotherhood members, in the trial relating to a 2013 mass killing by security forces at an Islamist sit-in, to life in prison, the official told AFP.

Those condemned to death were convicted of “arming criminal gangs which attacked residents and resisted policemen as well as possessing firearms and ammunition… and bomb-making material,” the court said in its ruling.

Other charges include “killing policemen… resisting authorities… and occupation and destruction of public property,” it added.

The rulings are final and cannot be appealed, the judicial source said.

Egypt’s former president Mohamed Morsi, head of the political wing of the Muslim Brotherhood, held power for a year before being ousted by the military in 2013.

Egyptian authorities outlawed the Islamist group in 2013 and have overseen a wide-ranging crackdown that has jailed thousands of its supporters.

Supporters of Egypt’s ousted president Mohammed Morsi hold up wooden sticks as they participate in a protest outside Rabaah al-Adawiya mosque, in Cairo, Egypt, Saturday, August 10, 2013. (photo credit: AP/Khalil Hamra)

The original case, dating back to 2013, had over 600 defendants and is locally known as the “Rabaa clearing case.”

Rabaa Al-Adawiya Square in eastern Cairo was the site of a massive Islamist sit-in calling for the return of Morsi after his ouster.

Security forces raided and killed hundreds of people in a single day in August 2013, a few weeks after Morsi’s overthrow.

In 2018, an Egyptian court sentenced 75 of them to death and the rest to varying jail sentences, including 10 years for Morsi’s son Osama.

Human rights groups have dubbed it the deadliest incident in modern Egyptian history.

Authorities said at the time that Muslim Brotherhood members were armed and the forced dispersal was a vital counter-terrorism measure.

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