A MILITARY court in Egypt has sentenced 11 members of the Muslim Brotherhood to life in prison after accusing them of “aggression” against the army in the city of Suez last month.
In the first such sentencing since the July 3 ouster of former President Mohamed Morsi, the military court also sentenced 45 Brotherhood members to five years in jail while acquitting eight others.
The Islamists were accused of shooting and using violence against the army in Suez on August 14 following a military crackdown on Morsi’s supporters in Cairo.
The military court delivered the verdict Tuesday after holding two hearings against the accused on August 24 and 26.
Egyptian troops sealed off roads leading to Cairo’s Rabaa al-Adawiya Square ahead of Islamist marches yesterday, weeks after hundreds died in a police crackdown on a protest camp there, state media reported.
The official MENA news agency reported that military vehicles were stationed at entrances to the northern Cairo square, a symbol for supporters of deposed Morsi after the August 14 crackdown.
The measure came ahead of a call by Morsi’s supporters for nationwide demonstrations to mark two months since his July 3 ouster by the military.
The military had also accused the defendants of carrying guns and throwing molotovs at soldiers.
On August 14 the military carried out a deadly crackdown on Morsi supporters in the Cairo’s Rabaa al-Adawiya and Nahda squares, killing hundreds. It was the deadliest such crackdown in Egypt’s recent history.
Since August 14 Egyptian authorities have carried out a relentless crackdown against Islamists in which more than 1,000 people have been killed and some 2,000 members of the Brotherhood arrested.
The supreme guide of the Brotherhood, Mohamed Badie, has also been arrested, while Morsi has been in custody since his ouster.