The Minya Criminal Court handed verdicts to 18 men on Saturday on background of charges mostly concerning protesting.
The court sentenced 11 men to prison for periods ranging from 57 years to 88 years for attacking security forces at the Samalout Police Station in Minya last summer. Gamal Abdul Hamid, a Minya lawyer, denied that any of the 11 sentenced men belonged to the Muslim Brotherhood.
The court also sentenced two Muslim Brotherhood supporters to five years in prison for protesting without a notice and joining the Brotherhood, Abdul Hamid added. Four other Brotherhood supporters were acquitted of the same charges on Saturday; one of latter was tried in absentia.
In a fourth case, one Muslim Brotherhood supporter was sentenced in absentia to 18 years in prison and an EGP 200,000 for inciting protests through the distribution of flyers, Abdul Hamid said. Abdul Hamid was among on defence team of the latter three of the aforementioned cases.
The Minya Criminal Court on 24 March referred 529 Muslim Brotherhood supporters to Grand Mufti Shawqy Allam. The Grand Mufti is scheduled on Monday to provide his opinion on whether or not they should be sentenced to death for attacking a police station.
The death sentence caused widespread outrage among domestic as well as international political and human rights bodies. Both Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International condemned the verdict, with Amnesty describing it as a “grotesque example of the shortcomings and the selective nature of Egypt’s justice system.”
The attack, which resulted in the death of one policeman, occurred on 14 August last year, after the forcible dispersal of two sit-ins set up in greater Cairo in support of ousted president Mohamed Morsi.