CAIRO (MEMO/AFP) – An Egyptian court has sentenced 52 defendants to prison and acquitted five others in a case known in the media as the “Rabaa al-Adawiya sit-in.”
The state-run MENA news agency reported that the Court of Cassation upheld the rulings issued by the criminal court in the province of Minya in July 2021, which included “three to fifteen year prison sentences against 52 people.”
It added that the court had acquitted five others after they were handed three-year prison terms. The defendants’ lawyers told the agency that the court had rejected appeals submitted by the 52 defendants, who were again convicted of “violence, public vandalism and attempted murder.”
The lawyers added that the rulings were “final and irrevocable.”
On 14 August 2014, the police and army forces dispersed the Rabaa sit-in by force, in a bloody massacre that claimed nearly 1,000 lives, following the ouster of the late president Mohamed Morsi and the coup against him in July 2013.
Meanwhile, a court in sentenced three members of the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood to death, after their conviction on 18 separate terrorism charges dating back to 2014 and 2015.
The court in the oasis city of Fayoum, south-west of the capital Cairo, named the three men as Mohammed Idris, 32, Mohammed Riyadh 25 and Heleil Raheel, 30, judicial officials said.
The court also sentenced 20 other members of the organization to life in prison and another person to nine years in jail.
Egypt uses hanging when capital punishment is passed against civilians. A life sentence is equivalent to 25 years in prison.
All 24 were convicted of the same charges and can appeal their sentences before a higher court.
The court’s presiding judge, Yasser Muharram Darweesh, said the defendants had planned to assassinate a criminal court judge in Fayoum, Tareq Abouzeid, while he was driving, but they mistakenly shot at a different vehicle.
They also killed two policemen in Fayoum and planted roadside bombs across much of the province, opened fire at a local police station and carried out surveillance of police officers they intended to assassinate.