[JURIST] An Egyptian Criminal Court in Giza on Monday sentenced 22 people to death for their involvement in the storming of a police station and killing of an officer on the day Mohamed Morsi was overthrown. The defendants are alleged [AP report] to be Morsi supporters and members of the Muslim Brotherhood [BBC backgrounder]. The charges on which the defendants were convicted include murder, possession of unlicensed firearms, destruction of property and vandalism. Eight of the defendants were sentenced in absentia, and the ruling is subject to appeal.
Political conflict in Egypt has been ongoing since the ouster of Morsi [JURIST news archive] in 2013, and political backlash has been particularly strong against his Muslim Brotherhood party. Earlier this month an Egyptian prosecutor referred [JURIST report] 187 Muslim Brotherhood supporters to a military court. The supporters are accused of killing police officers while storming a Maghagha police station in the southern province of Minya in August 2013, only weeks after the removal of Morsi. In late March an Egyptian court acquitted 68 people [JURIST report], including members of the Muslim Brotherhood, who were charged with gathering illegally and attacking security forces earlier this year. Also in March an Egyptian court sentenced [JURIST report] a leader of the Muslim Brotherhood and 13 others to death after finding them guilty of planning attacks against the state.