Muslim Brotherhood Supreme Guide referred to criminal court over Rabaa Al-Adaweya ‘militant sit-in’

Mahmoud Mostafa
3 Min Read
Muslim Brotherhood Supreme Guide Mohamed Badie and FJP leader Essam Al-Arian during Saturday's trial session where scores of Muslim Brotherhood leaders were sentences to death. (Photo by Ahmed Al-Malky)

The Prosecutor General referred the Muslim Brotherhood’s Supreme Guide Mohamed Badie, alongside a number of the group’s leaders and members, to the Cairo Criminal Court to stand trial in the Rabaa Al-Adaweya sit-in case.

The prosecution accused the defendants of committing “crimes of arranging a militant gathering and participate in it in Rabaa Al-Adaweya Square, road blocking, limiting people’s freedom of movement, deliberate murder of citizens and police forces assigned to disperse their gathering, [and] attempted murder”, amongst other charges between 21 June and 14 August 2013, state-run news agency MENA reported.

The prosecution added that, according to accounts from residents around Rabaa Al-Adaweya Square, the defendants from the Brotherhood organised a “militant sit-in”. They residents also said the defendants launched militant protests from the sit-in to attack peaceful citizens, whilst also detaining citizens and torturing them.

The list of defendants did not include former president Mohamed Morsi, although the prosecution listened to his testimony and decided to detain him in the case, state-owned newspaper Al-Ahram reported.

The defendants include deputy supreme guide Khairat Al-Shater, leaders Mohamed Al-Beltagy, Essam El-Erian and others.

Army and police forces violently dispersed the Rabaa Al-Adaweya sit-in, in northern Cairo, in synchronisation with another sit-in at Al-Nahda Square in Giza. The dispersal resulted in hundreds of killings amongst protesters, who staged the sit-in initially as a pre-emptive move when the popular uprising against Muslim Brotherhood rule gained momentum. The sit-in then turned into a protest against their removal from power.

In a press conference a day following the dispersals, then-minister of interior Mohamed Ibrahim said he gave clear directions to security forces not to use “any weapons” during the dispersal. He added that teargas was only to be used after warnings were given, and that safe exit was offered to protesters.

However, he added: “Protesters were betting on a large death toll to result from the dispersal.”

Also, according to Ibrahim, weapons and equipment confiscated from the sit-ins included: 19 automatic rifles; one hand gun; 29 shotguns; and 11 handmade weapons.

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