EGYPT SENTENCES 20 TO DEATH FOR KILLING POLICEMEN IN 2013

CAIRO, Egypt, An Egyptian court sentenced 20 people to death, over charges of murdering a dozen policemen, while storming a police station, in mid-2013.

The death sentences, issued by Cairo Criminal Court, can still be appealed.

The assault, known as the “Kerdasa massacre,” took place in Aug, 2013, when dozens of militants stormed the main police station in Kerdasa district of the Giza province near Cairo, leaving 17 dead, including 14 policemen.

Most of the militants were loyalists of the now-outlawed Muslim Brotherhood group of former Islamist President, Mohamed Morsi.

The incident came more than a month after Morsi’s military removal, on July 3, 2013, and shortly after a massive security crackdown on two pro-Morsi sit-ins on Aug 14, 2013, in Cairo and Giza, which left hundreds dead and thousands more arrested.

In the retrial of 156 defendants in the case, including the 20 sentenced to death, the court sentenced 80 defendants to 25 years in prison, 34 to 15 years, a minor to 10 years, and acquitted 21.

In Feb, 2015, the court sentenced 183 of them to death and a minor to 10 years in jail. After appeals, later in Feb, 2016, the Court of Cassation ordered the retrial of 156 of them.

In Apr, 2017, the criminal court recommended death penalty for 20 of them and referred their case documents to the Grand Mufti, the country’s interpreter of religious law, to get his religious opinion on their execution.

Morsi was removed by the military in early July, 2013, after mass protests against his one-year rule and his Brotherhood group.

Since then, anti-government activities targeting police and military men, and later the Coptic minority, have prevailed in the country, leaving hundreds dead, with most of the attacks claimed by a Sinai-based group loyal to the regional Daesh militant group.

The security forces continue pursuing Brotherhood members and loyalists over terrorist charges.

On Sunday, the police said, they arrested seven people belonging to the outlawed group, over plotting to make use of crises, pit public opinion and incite anti-government attitude particularly after the recent fuel price hikes.

Most Brotherhood leaders, including Morsi and the group’s top chief, Mohamed Badie, are currently in custody, and many of them received appealable death sentences and life imprisonments, over various charges, varying from inciting violence and murder, to espionage and jailbreak.

Morsi himself is currently serving a 20-year prison sentence, over inciting clashes between his supporters and opponents, outside a presidential palace in Cairo in late 2012, that killed 10.

Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK