An Egyptian court on Saturday convicted and sentenced 11 alleged supporters of the country's ousted Islamist president to up to 88 years in prison on charges that include violating a protest law and assaulting police.
The case comes amid a sweeping crackdown by Egypt's military-backed government against the Muslim Brotherhood. Authorities have killed hundreds of Islamists and arrested some 16,000 others since the army removed president Mohamed Morsi, a Brotherhood leader, from office last July.
Five of the 11 people sentenced Saturday by the court in the southern city of Minya were tried in absentia. The charges against all of the defendants were linked to demonstrations in the town of Samallout to protest the violent dispersal by security forces of two weeks-long pro-Morsi sit-ins that killed hundreds and wounded thousands.
The presiding judge Saturday was the same one who issued death sentences against nearly 530 suspected Islamists in mass trial in March. The ruling stunned rights groups, and drew condemnation from abroad.
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