Pro-Morsi march in Ismailia 29 July 2013 (Photo: Al-Ahram)
Egypt’s prosecution has referred 40 alleged members of the banned Muslim Brotherhood group – nine of which are women – to a military court for charges of vandalism and inciting violence, a crackdown on Islamists has been launched by authorities since the ouster of Islamist president Mohamed Morsi.
The defendants were referred in Egypt’s Ismailia two days ago.
Egyptian president Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi issued on 27 October, a new law which refers crimes committed against the state's public and "vital" facilities to the military judiciary.
The law, criticised by human rights organisations for expanding the jurisdiction of military tribunals on civilians, was passed shortly after the death of at least 33 security personnel in militant attacks in Sinai on 24 October.
Earlier this week, 439 defendants were referred to the military judiciary over violence which followed the deadly dispersal of two pro-Morsi camps in August 2013.
Article 204 of Egypt’s new constitution already allows authorities to refer civilians to military trials.
The article was strongly condemned by civil society organisations and a number of political movements before the constitution passed.
No Military Trials for Civilians, a group campaigning against referring civilians to military tribunals, has rallied protests against this article as well as previous legislations which allow for the military trial of civilians.