By Kenneth Changpertitum
Seventeen supporters of former President Mohamed Morsi were sentenced to life imprisonment by a Cairo Court Wednesday, reported state-owned Ahram Online.
The defendants were sentenced for their alleged role in riots in Cairo’s Manial neighbourhood in which five local residents were shot dead.
Last July’s riot in Manial had been part of a series of clashes which have occurred since the military backed ouster of former president Mohamed Morsi last on 3 July.
Manial residents report that the riot began when they tried to prevent Morsi supporters from reaching Tahrir Square in downtown Cairo, at which point they said the protesters brandished weapons and the violence ensued.
The court sentenced the accused in absentia on charges of murder, joining an illegal group, and “thuggery”.