Egypt- Courts sentence alleged Muslim Brotherhood members

(MENAFN- Daily News Egypt) The Beheira and Zagazig Criminal Courts sentenced on Tuesday approximately two dozen alleged Muslim Brotherhood members to prison in two separate trials involving violence related charges.

In the northern coastal governorate of Beheira, 15 were sentenced to life imprisonment after being tried in absentia, state-run MENA reported. In Egypt, people found guilty in absentia are automatically handed the maximum sentence and are retried once they are arrested.

Their charges included inciting violence, rioting and violent protest.

In a separate trial, another nine were sentenced to prison in Zagazig in Sharqeya governorate, with sentences ranging between 3 and 15 years, with 18 acquitted of all charges, MENA reported.

The charges include joining the Brotherhood, inciting and committing violence, resisting authorities, damaging public property and disrupting traffic.

Ever since the ouster of former president and Muslim Brotherhood politician Mohamed Morsi in July 2013, Brotherhood members have been subject to an arrest campaign. They have also been put on trial on a wide range of charges.

The group was designated a terrorist organisation by the Egyptian government last December. Its activities were previously banned by a court in September 2013.

The Muslim Brotherhood's political arm, the Freedom and Justice Party, was ordered dissolved by a top court in August.

The Brotherhood has repeatedly said that it condemns of all forms of violence. Abdulla El-Haddad, from the Brotherhood's London Press Office, told Daily News Egypt last month that the Brotherhood will continue to reject violence.

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