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Court sentences Brotherhood leaders to 20 years in prison

A court sentenced Muslim Brotherhood leader Mohamed al-Beltagy and Islamist preacher Safwat Hegazy to 20 years in prison, local media reported on Tuesday.

The Cairo Criminal Court convicted the two men for the alleged torture of two policemen during the Rabea al-Adaweya sit-in last summer that called for the reinstatement of ousted President Mohamed Morsi.

The court sentenced both Beltagy and Hegazy to 10 years in prison for allegedly kidnapping policemen Mohamed Farouk and Hany Sayed and torturing them in the area occupied by protesters in Rabea al-Adaweya. The charges also include attempted murder.

According to the privately owned Al-Shorouk newspaper, the two threatened the police officers with death and beat them with handcuffs in order to “terrorize” them. The prosecution also charged Beltagy and Hegazy for planning the kidnapping and torture of the policemen.

Both Brotherhood leaders were sentenced to an additional 10 years in prison for running an illegal group, according to the privately owned Al-Masry Al-Youm.

According to the newspaper, Brotherhood members Abdel Lazim Mohamed and Mohamed Zenaty – the field hospital director during the Rabea Adaweya sit-in – were also convicted of torture and participation in an illegal organization. The court sentenced them to 15 years in prison, 10 for torture and five for participating in an illegal organization.

Both Beltagy and Hegazy have long been affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood, with Beltagy being the former secretary of the Muslim Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice party.  The two men were arrested in August 2013, following the dispersal of the Rabea Adaweya sit-in. The sit-in lasted for over a month until it was violently dispersed by security forces, leaving over 1,000 dead.

Both Beltagy and Hegazy had already been handed down life sentences in a separate case in late August 2014. The two men, along with the Muslim Brotherhood Supreme Guide Mohamed Badie, were each sentenced to life in prison on charges of killing 10 people and injuring 20 others during clashes around the Istiqama mosque last July.

More than 1,200 members of the Muslim Brotherhood have been sentenced to death since former President Mohamed Morsi’s ouster in 2013. Lawyers representing Muslim Brotherhood members have stated that their clients were not given fair trials.

Meanwhile, the Giza Criminal Court sentenced prominent Salafi leader Hazem Salah Abu Ismail to a year in prison in addition to hard labor for insulting the police force in a Youtube video from 2012, the state-owned Al-Ahram newspaper reported on Tuesday.

In the video, Abu Ismail says that “the entire police force needs to be flogged” and accuses it of treason.