Brotherhood Figures Given Life Terms

Mohammed Badie An Egyptian court has sentenced Muslim Brotherhood leader Mohammed Badie and 36 other Islamists to life in jail.

They were accused of inciting violence and blocking a road near Cairo during protests over the military-led removal of President Mohammed Morsi last July.

New President Abdul Fattah al-Sisi has pledged to eliminate the Brotherhood.

Badie has already been given two death sentences. The court on Saturday also upheld death sentences on 10 other figures – eight of them in absentia.

Badie has yet to be tried on a number of other charges, as has Mohammed Morsi.

The Egyptian authorities have cracked down harshly on Islamists and other political opponents since President Morsi, who belongs to the Muslim Brotherhood, was removed following mass protests. The group was banned in December 2013.

On Saturday, Judge Hassan Farid ruled the defendants were involved in violence and the murder of two people “to achieve terrorist goals” during protests last July.

Amnesty International says at least 16,000 people have been detained in the past year alone as part of the government’s bid to silence Mohammed Morsi’s supporters.

Hundreds were also killed when protest camps were broken up last August.

The military-installed government has sentenced hundreds of Brotherhood supporters through a series of speedy mass trials in the past year, sparking protests from rights groups.

Last month’s sentencing of three al-Jazeera journalists to at least seven years in jail on charges of supporting the Muslim Brotherhood provoked widespread international outrage. — BBC

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