112 people sentenced to year in prison, hard labor for breaking protest law

The Mousky Misdemeanor Court sentenced 112 people to a year in prison with hard labor on Monday, reported the state-owned Middle East News Agency (MENA). The defendants were found guilty of violating the contentious protest law on the third anniversary of the January 25 revolution earlier this year.

More than 1,000 people were arrested across the country on that day, according to the Ministry of Interior.

The defendants, identified as supporters of the banned Muslim Brotherhood group, were arrested after they clashed with residents of downtown Cairo’s Mousky neighborhood during a protest.

They were accused of protesting without notifying the authorities, belonging to a banned terrorist organization, attacking civilians and public servants, illegal assembly, rioting and blocking the roads, all in violation of the protest law. Ratified in November, the law has been condemned by human rights groups locally and abroad for its severe restrictions on public assembly.

The Muslim Brotherhood was declared an illegal terrorist organization in December shortly after a suicide attack on a Mansoura police station killed 16 people. The group denied any involvement in the bombing.

Monday’s ruling comes amid a wave of harsh sentences handed down to members of the Islamist group in different parts of the country.

On the same day, the Fayoum Criminal Court sentenced 28 Brotherhood members to life in prison, after handing down 3-year sentences to 15 other defendants on June 2.

The Sohag Criminal Court sentenced one Brotherhood member to life in prison and seven others to 10 years on June 5.

In March, the Minya Criminal Court incurred international condemnation for sentencing 529 Brotherhood members to death. Undeterred by the outcry, the same court handed down another 680 death sentences to Brotherhood members in late April after an unusually short trial.

The independent online portal Wiki Thawra, which aims to document the events of the January 25, 2011 revolution and its aftermath, issued a report last week asserting that 41,163 people have been detained or prosecuted since former President Mohamed Morsi was removed from power by military mandate on July 3, 2013.

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