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Egypt court hands down more sentences for Morsi supporters

[JURIST] Egyptian courts over the weekend convicted many supporters of the ousted former president Mohamed Morsi on charges including violence and rioting. According to AFP reports, 13 supporters were sentenced on Saturday and another [AFP reports] 42 on Sunday. Those sentenced on Saturday were convicted of offenses ranging from offending the public order to rioting and sabotage during protests in August 2013. Prison terms for those offenders range from five to 88 years. Sunday saw 42 individuals sentenced to terms ranging from three to 15 years. According to an Ahram Online report, another 37 persons were given sentences on Sunday, those ranging from five to 45 years in prison. The alleged perpetrators were convicted of assaulting police stations following the dispersal of a pro-Morsi protest camp in Cairo. It is yet unclear whether the conflicting numbers in the reports pertain to separate judicial proceedings or are differing estimates of the same process, as the reports are not official but come from an undefined "judicial source."

The Egyptian military and new government have heavily cracked down on supporters of Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood, having jailed approximately 15,000 individuals since his ouster in July. Another 1,000 persons have been handed down sentences since December, mostly in hasty and combined trials comprised of multiple defendants. The most notable of these mass-sentences occurred in March, when 529 alleged Morsi supporters were collectively sentenced [JURIST report] to death in one controversial judicial proceeding. That decision is being reviewed by higher Egyptian courts and a final verdict on the matter is expected [Reuters report] on Monday. Two more Morsi supporters were independently sentenced [JURIST report] to death in March as well. Critics of these harsh sentences have pointed to examples of disparate treatment unfairly targeting Islamists, such as the sentencing [JURIST report] of several police officers involved in the deaths of 37 Morsi supporters to single-year suspended sentences.

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