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Morsi supporters sentenced to prison for assaulting army troops

An Egyptian military tribunal on Tuesday sentenced 11 supporters of deposed president Mohamed Morsi [BBC profile; JURIST news archive] to life imprisonment for assaulting army troops last month during riots that took place in the Suez Canal. Forty-five other individuals were sentenced to five years [AP report] in prison for taking part in the Suez Canal riots, while five individuals were acquitted of these charges. These convictions came only two days after Egyptian authorities charged Morsi [JURIST report] and 14 other Muslim Brotherhood [BBC backgrounder; JURIST news archive] leaders with "incitement to murder" stemming from violent protests that took place last year. The charges are the latest move in an effort to restore order to the country, which has been in political turmoil since 2012.

Although Egypt has faced unrest since the Egyptian Revolution [JURIST backgrounder] began over two years ago, the conflict peaked in July after the Egyptian military deposed [JURIST report] Mohamed Morsi, suspended the nation's constitution and installed an interim government. Last month the Egyptian prime minister proposed formally dissolving [JURIST report] the non-governmental organization registration of the Muslim Brotherhood in an effort to force the group underground. In July The UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) [official website] urged Egyptian authorities [JURIST report] to address the escalating violence that followed Morsi's ousting. Only one day after Morsi's ouster, Egyptian authorities shut down four Islamist-run television stations [JURIST report], causing concern among groups such as Amnesty International (AI) [advocacy website]. The Chairman of the Supreme Constitutional Court of Egypt, Adly Mansour, took the oath [JURIST report] to become the interim head of state on the same day that Morsi was deposed. According to the OHCHR more than 80 people have been killed and over 1000 injured since political turmoil gripped the nation.

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