Egypt top court upholds death penalty for soccer rioters

Egypt top court upholds death penalty for soccer rioters

[JURIST] Egypt’s Court of Cassation [official website, in Arabic], the nation’s highest court, on Monday upheld the death penalty for 10 men involved in the Port Said Stadium Riot [NYT report] in which more than 70 individuals were killed after a soccer game in 2012. Supporters of the winning team had stormed the field, stabbing fans of the rival team and causing many to be trampled as they tried to escape. The defendants were charged [Reuters report] with murder and attempted murder. The Court of Cassation also upheld the sentences of 39 other men, who were sentenced with prison terms ranging from five to 15 years. Since the sentencing was upheld by the highest court, none of the defendants can appeal.

Egypt’s top courts have issued several rulings within the last year that piqued international interest. In April the Court of Cassation overturned [JURIST report] the rioting sentences of 35 students. In November the same court struck down [JURIST report] the former president’s death sentence. In December Egypt’s Supreme Constitutional Court upheld [JURIST report] laws restricting protesters.