An Egyptian court on Monday handed death sentences to 183 people, who allegedly supported the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood group. The court charged them with killing several police officers in the town of Kardasa in 2013 after the preliminary verdict against 188 defendants in a mass trial was issued in December.
Of the people who escaped the death sentence, two were acquitted, one was sentenced to 10 years in prison and charges were dropped against the remaining two after it was found that they were already dead, according to Agence France-Presse. Monday’s sentence came after the initial verdict was sent to the grand mufti, the government's official interpreter of Islamic law, for ratification, Al Jazeera reported.
At least 11 people were killed in August 2013 in Kardasa during the upheaval that continued after the ouster of then-President Mohammed Morsi. The attack occurred after security forces dismantled two large protests camps, in support of Morsi, and killed nearly 300 people in the violence that ensued.
Egypt's current President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi, who was then the army chief, took control of the country and a massive crackdown began against the Muslim Brotherhood. Critics reportedly claim that the current Egyptian government is aggressively suppressing any opposition against its regime.
The crackdown against Brotherhood supporters has led to an international outcry against the courts, which have recently sentenced hundreds of people to death on similar charges, according to The Associated Press. However, many death sentences have been overturned, following appeals.
Sissi has so far blamed the violence in the country on the Muslim Brotherhood. Egyptian authorities claim that there is no difference between the Muslim Brotherhood, Islamic State and al Qaeda, adding that the three share similar ideologies and are equally dangerous, Reuters reported.
The preliminary verdict, which was announced in December, was the third mass death sentence in 2014, Al Jazeera reported. Earlier in April, 683 death sentences were handed in one trial, shocking people all around the world.