Nearly 200 people were sentenced to death in Egypt on Tuesday, according to Ahram Online. Defendants were charged with taking part in a deadly attack at a police checkpoint last year, the same day a military crackdown on Muslim Brotherhood protesters killed nearly 300 people.
A judge at the Giza Criminal Court sentenced 188 people to death, and more than 30 people were tried in absentia, according to Reuters. The verdict is required to pass by Egypt’s Grand Mufti before the execution takes place, but the Mufti’s decision is “non-binding," according to al-Ahram. Prisoners will be given the opportunity to file an appeal, Reuters reported.
At the time of the initial arrest, 78 people were accused of direct involvement in the attack at the Kerdasa checkpoint, and the others were protesters charged with “resisting security troops,” according to the Egypt Independent. Thirteen people were killed in the attack and at least 11 were police officers.
Tuesday’s verdict is just another example of Egypt’s brutal sentencing of Muslim Brotherhood-affiliated civilians since Brotherhood-backed Mohammed Morsi was ousted last year. After former military general Abdel Fattah el-Sisi was elected president, Egypt declared the Brotherhood a terrorist organization and thousands of supporters have since been arrested. Many of those arrested were students and at least 200 were women, according to the group Women Against the Coup.
Last week, an Egyptian court sentenced 25 Muslim Brotherhood members to three years in prison for insulting the judiciary when charges against former Egyptian dictator Hosni Mubarak were dropped. Mubarak ruled Egypt for 30 years.
At least 1,400 Morsi supporters have been killed since July 2013. Morsi was arrested after his removal and remains in jail. Last month, the former president issued a statement from his cell congratulating his followers for the “continuation of your revolution.”
“I shall not depart my prison before all my detained sons are freed and before all my detained daughters are back in their homes,” Morsi wrote. He signed the letter “president” of Egypt.