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Egypt to rule on mass trial of Morsi supporters

An Egyptian court on Tuesday stated [Al Jazeera report] that on April 28 it will rule on the mass trial of 683 alleged supporters of ousted President Mohammed Morsi [BBC profile; JURIST news archive] charged with murder, incitement of violence and sabotage. The trial, which has been decried internationally for failing to provide due process to the accused, comes just one day after the same court sentenced 529 suspected Morsi supporters to death after just two sessions in a similar mass trial [JURIST report]. Reports indicate that human rights groups have strongly criticized these large-scale proceedings where defense lawyers have not been allowed to present their cases.

Political conflict in Egypt has been ongoing since the 2011 revolution [JURIST backgrounder] that ousted former president Hosni Mubarak from power. Much of that conflict has recently occurred between supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood and the former government of Morsi, and supporters of the new government in place since his ouster in July 2013, especially since the organization's formal ban [JURIST reports] in September. On March 18, an Egyptian court sentenced [JURIST report] four police officers for their role in the deaths of 37 Islamists. Opponents have criticized the light sentences handed down to the officers. A day earlier, an Egyptian prosecutor referred [JURIST report] Morsi's youngest son, Abdullah Morsi, to trial on allegations of drug use and possession. In February, the Cairo Criminal Court convicted [JURIST report] 26 people of forming a terrorist group with intent to attack the Suez Canal.

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