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Egypt prosecutors refer 220 Morsi supporters to criminal court

[JURIST] Egyptian prosecution authorities referred 220 supporters of deposed president Mohammed Morsi [BBC profile; JURIST news archive] to criminal court over the weekend for their involvement in protests in downtown Cairo on the January 25 anniversary of the 2011 Egyptian Revolution [JURIST backgrounder] earlier this year. The 220 Morsi supporters face a number of charges [Ahram report] including attempted murder, illegal possession of firearms, unlawful assembly, and destroying public and private property. Prosecution against Morsi supporters has increased in 2014, and an Egyptian court is scheduled to rule in a mass trial [JURIST report] of 638 Morsi supporters on April 28.

Egypt's military deposed [JURIST report] Morsi in July, and throughout the past year the Egyptian judiciary has delivered harsh sentences to hundreds of Morsi supporters and members of the Muslim Brotherhood [BBC profile; JURIST news archive]. In March Egyptian authorities sentenced [JURIST report] two Morsi supporters to death for murder. Also last month an Egyptian court sentenced 529 Morsi supporters [JURIST report] to death on charges of killing and attacking policemen in one of the largest mass trials to be held in the country in decades. Experts say the harshness of the rulings illustrates [AP report] the lengths to which Egyptian courts have been politicized and due process has been ignored during a crackdown on the Muslim Brotherhood as a result of Morsi's influence with the Islamic group and a September judgment that banned [JURIST report] the Muslim Brotherhood's activities in Egypt. The recent mass trial and sentencing prompted the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) [official website] to declare [JURIST report] international concern over a number of procedural inadequacies that violate international law.

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