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Egyptian court sentences 418 Muslim Brotherhood supporters to jail

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An Egyptian military court has sentenced 418 supporters of the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood movement to jail terms ranging from two years to life imprisonment.

The court rulings announced on Thursday were related to charges over a violent attack on a police station in Minya province in August 2013.

Most of those convicted by the military court were tried in absentia.

All of the 350 defendants who were tried in absentia were sentenced to 25 years in jail or life imprisonment.

The rest of the defendants, who were present at court, received sentences ranging from two years to 10 years in prison for membership in the “banned group” and “sabotage of public facilities and police.”

Since 2013, the Egyptian government has staged a widespread systematic crackdown on members of the Muslim Brotherhood who supported Mohamed Morsi, Egypt’s first democratically-elected president, who was ousted on July 3, 2013 in a military coup led by the then head of the armed forces and incumbent president General Abdel Fattah el-Sisi.

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Charges cited by government courts in mass trials of Muslim Brotherhood members vary from inciting violence and causing riots to attacking public facilities, attempted murder of members of the police, disrupting traffic and blocking roads.

Human rights groups say the junta-orchestrated crackdown on dissent has led to the deaths of over 1,400 people and the arrests of 22,000 others, including some 200 people who have been sentenced to death in mass trials.

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