250 defendants were referred Saturday to military court in Minya on charges of storming and torching a post office in 2013.
The general prosecution in Minya also charged the defendants with joining “a terrorist organisation”, violating the protest law, resisting authorities, and inciting violence and riots, according to the state-run Egyptian Radio and Television Union.
The incident dates back to August 2013, following the dispersal of pro-Muslim Brotherhood sit-ins in Cairo, as major protests and violent clashes erupted throughout the country.
President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi issued a decree in October that places all “public and vital facilities” under military jurisdiction for the next two years.
The provision allows for the military trial of any civilian accused of vandalism of public property or of blocking public roads – a charge frequently levelled against protesters, according to the human rights group the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights (EIPR).
The law also requires state prosecutors to refer any crimes committed against such facilities to their military counterparts, which means the law can be applied retroactively, according to Human Rights Watch (HRW).
At least 2,100 civilians have been referred to military courts since the army ousted president Mohamed Morsi on 3 July 2013, according to NGOs and media reports.