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2-year prison sentences for 13 found guilty in Moqattam violence

Thirteen members and supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood were sentenced to two years in prison for attacking activists and journalists protesting outside the group’s headquarters in March 2013, state-owned MENA reported.

The Moqattam Misdemeanors Court found those on trial guilty of attacking protesters demonstrating against decisions taken by former President Mohamed Morsi.

Clashes between Muslim Brotherhood supporters and opponents broke out on March 22, which was dubbed the “Friday of Reclaiming Dignity.” Hundreds were injured after activists and journalists were attacked outside the Brotherhood’s headquarters.

Seven of the 13 found guilty are guards of leading Brotherhood member Khairat al-Shater, deputy supreme guide of the group, which was deemed a terrorist organization by Egypt’s interim Cabinet in late December.

Also on Saturday, the trial of 48 Brotherhood members and supporters charged with inciting violence and blocking the Qalyub Agricultural Road last July resumed, reported MENA.

Among those who stood trial today at Shubra al-Kheima Criminal Court was Mohamed Badie, the supreme guide of the Brotherhood. The trial was adjourned until Monday.

Eight other leading members of the group on trial include Essam al-Erian and Mohamed al-Beltagy, as well as former Minister of Supply and Internal Trade Bassem Ouda.

The group, which also includes Islamist preacher Safwat Hegazy, is facing trial for violence that took place in Qalyubiya in the aftermath of Morsi’s removal from office by the military, following mass protests against him. The events resulted in the death of two and left 35 injured, MENA reported.

The defendents are also charged with belonging to a terrorist organization that aims to spread violence against state institutions, blocking traffic, destruction of public and private property, as well as possession of weapons and live ammunition.

Security was heightened in Qalyubiya Governorate ahead of the third session of the trial, with Armed Forces securing police stations and the areas around Abu Zaabal and Qanater Prisons, as well as the roads leading to the Marg Prison, according to a security source.