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Egypt refers Muslim Brotherhood members for mass criminal tribunal

Egypt's Prosecutor General Hesham Barakat [Egypt Independent profile] on Monday referred 504 members of the Muslim Brotherhood [party website; JURIST news archive] for a mass trial. The members are accused of a variety of crimes [AP report] stemming from the Day of Rage clashes on August 16, which resulted in 95 deaths and hundreds of injuries. The Muslim Brotherhood was banned [JURIST report] by the Egyptian government in September, and Barakat has called the Muslim Brotherhood a "terrorist organization" [Daily News Egypt report].

Egypt has dealt with political unrest since the Egyptian Revolution [JURIST backgrounder] began in 2011. Earlier this month Egypt's deposed president Mohamed Morsi [BBC backgrounder] appeared in court in his trial [JURIST reports] for espionage and conspiring to commit acts of terrorism. Morsi's trial signifies Egypt's political transition from the authority of the Muslim Brotherhood into a new regime. Morsi appeared before the court earlier this month, but the trial was adjourned [JURIST report] to give a committee of media members time to inspect video evidence the court declassified for the trial. In recent months, hundreds of members of the Muslim Brotherhood have been convicted on criminal charges, with 113 supporters sentenced in January, and 139 sentenced [JURIST reports] in December.

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