[JURIST] A court in Egypt on Monday confirmed death sentences for 183 supporters of the banned Muslim Brotherhood [BBC backgrounder] and ousted president Mohammed Morsi [BBC profile; JURIST news archive]. The men were convicted [JURIST report] in December of playing a role in an attack on a police station in the governate of Giza, known as the “Kerdasa massacre,” which resulted in the death of 11 police officers and two civilians. Two of the original 188 individuals convicted were acquitted [Al Jazeera report] Monday, and one had his sentence reduced to 10 years in prison. The court’s ruling comes after the initial verdicts were reviewed by Egypt’s top religious authority, the Grand Mufti.
The year 2014 saw a significant government crackdown on supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood and former president Morsi, punctuated with a number of mass arrests and death sentences. Earlier this week Amnesty International [advocacy website] issued a press release [JURIST report] stating that it has gathered evidence that the Egyptian government is covering up the deaths of more than two dozen people who died in protests on the anniversary of the 2011 uprisings. Last week security forces in Egypt arrested [JURIST report] 516 supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood according to Interior Minister Mohamed Ibrahim. Also in January an Egyptian court ordered the retrial [JURIST report] for 152 Muslim Brotherhood supporters sentenced in a mass trial last year. Thirty-seven were sentenced to death, and 115 others were sentenced to life imprisonment for their roles in attacks against Egyptian Christians and their churches in August 2013.