The Egyptian Court of Cassation turned down on Saturday an appeal by Muslim Brotherhood member Mahmoud Makawi Afifi, upholding a 20-year prison sentence by a criminal court over Afifi’s involvement in violence that took place in the “Ittihadeya incidents” of 2012.
The case involved violence against protesters who were holding a sit-in in front of the presidential palace in Cairo, during which journalist El-Husseini Abu-Deif was killed.
The Court of Cassation also upheld the verdict against the late deposed President Mohamed Morsi and Brotherhood leaders including Mohamed El-Beltagy, Issam El-Erian, and six others in the same case. The Brotherhood leaders were sentenced to a maximum of 20 years in prison.
The cassation court’s ruling is final and cannot be appealed.
Affi was convicted by a criminal court in April 2014. He was sentenced in absentia to 20 years imprisonment, and was later arrested and convicted again in a retrial.
The criminal court convicted the defendants in the case of inciting violence and ordering the illegal detention and torture of protesters, as well as breaking up their peaceful sit-in in front of the presidential palace in 2012.
On 5 December 2012, under Morsi's regime, opposition forces rallied in front of the Ittihadiya Presidential Palace to peacefully protest a November 2012 presidential decree giving Morsi immunity from judicial oversight.
The following morning, hundreds of Morsi supporters stormed a small overnight sit-in. This prompted thousands of Morsi's opponents to demonstrate again at the palace, resulting in clashes with his followers.
At least 10 people were killed, including Abu-Deif, a 33-year-old journalist at the weekly El-Fagr newspaper, who was covering the protest.