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Egyptian court drops charges against 379 protesters
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c_330_235_16777215_0___images_stories_edim_01_egypt(18).jpgAn Egyptian court has dropped charges against 379 people involved in clashes with security forces during anti-junta demonstrations near the Interior Ministry in November 2011 in which 42 protesters were killed.
 
The Egyptians launched a revolution against the pro-Israeli regime in January 2011, which eventually brought an end to the 30-year dictatorship of Hosni Mubarak in February 2011. 
 
In October 2012, Egypt’s first democratically elected president, Mohamed Morsi, pardoned all political prisoners arrested since the start of the popular revolution. 
 
Saturday's decision was based on the decree by Morsi granting an amnesty for those facing charges related to events occurred during and after the revolution, the official MENA news agency said. 
 
379 people were accused of wounding police officers during the November 2011 clashes on Mohammed Mahmoud street, which lies next to Cairo's Tahrir Square and near the Interior Ministry. 
 
On October 8, 2012, Morsi, who took office in June 2012, announced the amnesty for “deeds committed with the aim of supporting the revolution and bringing about its objectives in the period January 25, 2011 to June 30, 2012, with the exception of crimes of first-degree murder." 
 
According to the decree, the amnesty covers prisoners who already have been convicted and those who are still under investigation or are facing trial. 
 
However, the decree did not provide a specific number of the people who have been pardoned by the president. 
 
Human rights groups have said that thousands of people ended up in military courts established by the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF), which took power in February 2011 after the revolution.
 
According to the Egyptian campaign group No to Military Trials for Civilians, at least 12,000 civilians have been tried before military courts and more than 5,000 political prisoners are still languishing in the country’s jails. 
 
Many of the political prisoners were arrested during the 18 months of military rule.
 
(Source: Press TV)

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