[JURIST] Eight supporters of former Egpytian president Mohamed Morsi [BBC profile] were sentenced to life in prison on Tuesday for illegal protests and acts of violence committed in Cairo’s eastern Al-Marg district in July 2014. The defendants allegedly chanted against the army and the police, in addition to damaging public areas and blocking the road in Al-Marg. After hearing the testimony of eyewitnesses, the prosecution accused the defendants of joining a terrorist organization, damaging public and private buildings, illegally protesting, and carrying weapons, among other things. Furthermore, the defendants allegedly protested against the death sentences [Al Jazeera report] of 14 Muslim Brotherhood leaders in Al-Marg and Matariya. Two people were killed and four injured as a result of clashes between protestors and residents of the district.
Political tension in Egypt, including clashes between Morsi supporters and current President Abdul Fattah al-Sisi [BBC profile] has persisted since the ouster [JURIST backgrounder] of former president Morsi in 2013. Earlier this month an Egyptian court upheld death sentences for five members of the Muslim Brotherhood [BBC backgrounder] on charges of killing policemen in 2013. In February four members of the Muslim Brotherhood were sentenced to death [JURIST report] for murder and possession of firearms. Also in February an Egyptian court ordered a retrial [JURIST report] of 36 Muslim Brotherhood supporters. The 36 are among 183 supporters sentenced to death in June in connection with violence following Morsi’s ouster. In January security forces arrested [JURIST report] 516 supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood.