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Egypt soldiers receive suspended sentences for protests

Egyptian Defence Minister General Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi on Saturday ordered a reduced sentence for a group of military officers who took part in opposition protests in April 2011. There were 22 officers, known as the April 8 Officers, arrested for their participation in protests [Egyptian Independent report] in support of the revolution and against the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) [Al Jazeera archive] and against retired Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi Soliman. Originally sentenced to six years, the new order imposes a one-year suspended sentence [Ahram report]. The defense minister's announcement follows continuous protests and demonstrations on behalf of the officers, but some are not satisfied [Ahram report] that the new sentence will mean freedom for the officers.

There have been several controversial trials since the end of the revolution. Last week an Egyptian court upheld the death sentences [JURIST report] for 14 Islamists. Earlier this month, a court sentenced [JURIST report] former prime minister Ahmed Nazif to three years for corruption. In August the former secretary for Mubarak's political party, Safwat El-Sherif, was referred to a criminal court [JURIST report] on corruption charges. He was accused of having abused his office by obtaining real estate at discounted prices and illegally obtaining $49.2 million. In July an Egyptian court rejected pleas to release [JURIST report] Mubarak's two sons while they await trial. Gamal and Alaa Mubarak, along with seven others, were charged with stock market fraud [JURIST report] and using unfair trading practices and illegally manipulating the market.

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