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Morsi ally sentenced for hiding wanted Muslim Brotherhood official

The Giza Misdemeanour Court on Sunday sentenced Mohammed Morsi's former manpower minister Khaled al-Azhari [Washington Institute profile] to two years in prison for hiding a wanted Muslim Brotherhood [JURIST news archive] official. Al-Azhari served as deputy chairman of the parliamentary Manpower Committee in 2012, and he was named Minister of Manpower and Immigration in August of that year. In the trial, al-Azhari was sentenced alongside a fellow parliamentary member for harboring Freedom and Justice Party (FJP) [party website] Secretary General Mohamed Beltagy while there was warrant issued for his arrest for allegedly inciting deadly violence in the summer of 2013. The pair was convicted [Egypt Daily News report] of hiding Beltagy in a safe house in the village Teresa near of Cairo.

Political conflict in Egypt has been ongoing since the 2011 Egyptian revolution [JURIST backgrounder]. In December 2013 Egypt's interim government officially declared [JURIST report] the Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist group and Egyptian courts have prosecuted Muslim Brotherhood members substantially in 2014. On Saturday an Egyptian court sentenced two supporters of deposed president Mohammed Morsi [BBC profile] to death for murder. In February Egypt's Prosecutor General Hesham Barakat referred [JURIST report] 504 members of the Muslim Brotherhood for a mass trial. Also in February authorities ordered 242 Morsi supporters to face new trials in relation to the violent protests against the new government, and in January three courts in Egypt sentenced [JURIST reports] 113 Muslim Brotherhood supporters.

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