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Egypt court overturns prison sentences of 34 Al-Azhar students in 2013 rioting case

The students were detained in December 2013, during a period that witnessed frequent clashes between police and Al-Azhar students sympathetic to ousted president Mohamed Morsi

El-Sayed Gamal El-Din , Sunday 22 May 2016
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Views: 1530

Cairo Court of Cassation overturned on Saturday a five-year prison sentence for 34 Al-Azhar students who were charged with involvement in violent incidents that took place inside the university in December 2013.

Two weeks ago, the Court of Cassation accepted an appeal filed by the students that challenged the court ruling that sent them to prison.

Public prosecutor accused the students of "rioting, deliberate destruction of public and private property, use of force inside the university and taking part in illegal protests "

Al-Azhar University, which follows the Al-Azhar institute – the highest seat of Sunni Islamic learning – saw frequent clashes between supporters of president Mohamed Morsi and security forces in the months following his 2013 ouster.

Many students were expelled by Al-Azhar's high board over their participation in protests that turned violent in 2013.

Most of the expulsions were later overturned by Egypt's Administrative Court, which said it was safeguarding students' "educational future and welfare."

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