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26 Al-Azhar student protesters sentenced to two and half years for rioting

A Cairo Misdemeanor court sentences 26 of pro-Morsi Al-Azhar University students to two and a half years in jail on charges of rioting and sabotage

Ahram Online, Thursday 9 Jan 2014
Azhar University
A student of Al-Azhar University, who is a supporter of the Muslim Brotherhood and deposed President Mohamed Morsi, throws stones as another takes pictures during clashes with riot police and residents of the area at the Al-Azhar University campus in Cairo's Nasr City district December 27, 2013. (Photo: Reuters)
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A Cairo Misdemeanor court sentenced 26 Al-Azhar University students who are supporters of ousted Islamist President Mohamed Morsi to two and a half years in jail Thursday, Ahram Arabic news website reported.

The students were convicted, in two separate cases, on charges of rioting, obstructing the state, sabotaging public facilities, resisting the authorities, use of force, violence and thuggery.

The court cases are related to attacks by protesters against security forces and their blocking of roads when clashes erupted last November between security forces and pro-Muslim Brotherhood students inside and oustide the students' dormitories in Nasr City in east Cairo.

Supporters of Morsi have been staging near-daily protests since his ouster in July, which had often descended into bloody clashes with security forces or with opponents.

In recent months, Muslim Brotherhood students have been at the forefront of the protests at Al-Azhar University which has seen some of the worst violence. A total of four of Al-Azhar University students were killed in clashes since the beginning of the academic year, said Hisham Abdel Hamid, Forensic Authority spokesman. Scores have also been injured in clashes with security forces and hundreds arrested.

In November, 12 Al-Azhar university students were sentenced to 17 years in prison over charges of attempting to storm the headquarters of Al-Azhar institution, which oversees the university, inciting riots and attacking employees and security personnel, as well as destroying public and private property.

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