[JURIST] An Egyptian court on Saturday jailed eight men, including two Muslim Brotherhood leaders, for 15 years over the torture of a lawyer during 2011 uprisings against former president Hosni Mubarak [JURIST news archive]. The defendants were convicted of torturing, electrocuting and sexually assaulting a lawyer after locking him up for three days near Cairo’s Tahrir Square when it was filled with protesters against Mubarak. Muslim Brotherhood [JURIST news archive] leaders Mohamed al-Beltagy and Safwat Hegazy, an Al Jazeera journalist, and one other defendant were sentenced to 15 years, while four other defendants were jailed for three years. Beltagy and Hegazy are being tried in several other cases with other Muslim Brotherhood leaders, including ousted Islamist president Mohamed Morsi [BBC backgrounder].
In a government crackdown since the army ousted [JURIST report] Morsi last July, thousands of Muslim Brotherhood members and supporters have been jailed, often with lengthy prison terms. Earlier this month an Egyptian judge was removed from his position [JURIST report] on the Minya Criminal Court of Egypt [Middle East Monitor news archive] to a seat on the civilian judicial court in Egypt. The Minya court, known as one of the nation’s terrorism courts, was the forum for two mass sentences of hundreds of Islamic supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood earlier this year. In June human rights experts were outraged over the mass death sentence confirmed [JURIST reports] for 183 people. The ruling simultaneously acquitted over 400 people. In March 529 Morsi supporters had been sentenced to death [JURIST report] in one controversial judicial proceeding.