[JURIST] Three courts in Egypt sentenced 113 supporters of ousted Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi [BBC backgrounder; JURIST news archive] and the Muslim Brotherhood [party website, JURIST news archive] on Thursday. In one of the largest mass trials to date, 63 individuals were sentenced [Reuters report] to three years in prison on charges of rioting, thuggery and weapons possession stemming from protest in Cairo in November. The sentence includes a fine of 50,000 Egyptian Pounds (USD $7,181). Bail was set at 5,000 Egyptian pounds (USD $720) allowing the convicted to remain free from prison while they appeal the verdict. According to Reuters, in a separate trial 24 Brotherhood supporters were also sentenced to three years in prison, with labor, over clashes around the same time in a different part of Cairo. In the third case, a court sentenced 26 students of Al-Azhar University [official website, in Arabic] to two-and-a-half years in prison each. The University, located in Cairo, has been the site of multiple anti-government and pro-Morsi rallies since Morsi’s ousting.
Earlier this week the Muslim Brotherhood filed a complaint [JURIST report] in the International Criminal Court (ICC) [official website] alleging widespread and systematic crimes against humanity have been committed by the Egyptian military since its July coup [JURIST report] removing President Morsi from power. In December, 139 Morsi supporters were sentenced [JURIST report] to two year prison terms on a variety of charges including rioting and sabotage during a July 15 protest demanding Morsi’s reinstatement. Earlier that month Egyptian state media reported [JURIST report] that ousted Morsi will be tried on charges of espionage and terrorism along with 35 other defendants, many of whom are also former high-level officials and members of the Muslim Brotherhood. Also in December Human Rights Watch (HRW) [advocacy website] urged [JURIST report] the Egyptian government to reverse its decision to label the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist organization, calling the label politically driven.