[JURIST] Egypt’s top appeals court on Thursday upheld a death sentence [Ahram Online report; warning graphic image] against an Islamist charged with murder as well as sentences for 57 other supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood [BBC backgrounder]. Video footage of the Islamist sentenced to death, Mahmoud Hassan Ramadan, showed him throwing people off of a roof during the upheaval. The Muslim Brotherhood supporters were sentenced for their involvement in the violent upheaval following the army’s ousting of president Mohammed Morsi [BBC profile; JURIST news archive] in 2013. Their sentences range from seven years to life. The verdict cannot be appealed. However, if new evidence is discovered or a mistrial is proven, the defendants can request that their trial be reconsidered.
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. The trend is continuing into 2015. Earlier this week an Egyptian court confirmed death sentences [JURIST report] for 183 supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood and ousted president Morsi. Also this week Amnesty International (AI) [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. In January an Egyptian court ordered the retrial [JURIST report] of 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.