Egypt sentences 75 people to death over 2013 sit-in

CAIRO: Egypt has sentenced 75 people to death, including prominent Islamist leaders, over a 2013 pro-Muslim Brotherhood sit-in which ended with the killing of hundreds of protesters, judicial sources said on Saturday.

Others being tried in the case, including Brotherhood spiritual leader Mohamed Badie, were handed life sentences.

Those sentenced to death by hanging include senior Brotherhood leaders Essam al-Erian and Mohamed Beltagi and prominent Islamist preacher Safwat Higazi, the sources said.

The month-long protest culminated in mass violence when Egyptian security forces — under the command of now-President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi — attempted to clear thousands of demonstrators by using automatic weapons, armored personnel carriers and military bulldozers.
The government’s actions were widely condemned by international rights organizations. A 2014 report by Human Rights Watch found at least 817 people were killed in the violence.
The 75 defendants sentenced to death on Saturday are accused of “attacking citizens, resisting authorities, destroying public property and buildings, and possessing firearms and Molotov cocktails,” according to Ahram Online.
Among those sentenced are Brotherhood leader Mohamed Badie and prominent members Essam El-Erian, Mohamed El-Beltagy and Wagdy Ghoneim, Ahram reported.