183 pro-Morsi defendants receive final death sentence in initial Kerdasa murders

Ahram Online , Monday 2 Feb 2015

File Photo: A view shows a damaged police station burnt in a blaze by supporters of former president Mohamed Morsi in Kerdasa, a town 14 km (9 miles) from Cairo in this September 19, 2013 (Photo: Reuters)

A Giza criminal court has issued a final death sentence penalty against 183 defendants in the case of killing 11 police officers during an attack on the Kerdasa, Giza police station in August 2013, following the dispersal of pro-ousted Islamist President Mohamed Morsi sit-ins in Cairo.

Out of the total of 183 defendants, 34 were tried in absentia. 

The court reached the final verdict after the approval of Egypt’s Grand Mufti on the death sentence issued last December.

The Grand Mufti’s approval is non-binding.

Further, the criminal court sentenced a minor defendant in the case to ten years in jail.

It also acquitted two defendants while two other defendants passed away. 

The 183 defendants were found guilty of killing 11 police officers from Kerdasa Police station, as well mutilating their bodies. They were also convicted of killing two local residents who were in the area during the attack on the police station in the Islamist dominated town. 

In addition, the court found that the defendants were guilty of the attempted murder of 10 other police personnel, sabotaging the police station, torching a number of police vehicles and possessing heavy firearms.

Mass execution sentences in the past two years in Egypt have been widely criticised by both local and international human rights organisations.

In April 2014, a Minya criminal court handed death sentences to 529 persons for killing a police officer, committing acts of violence, rioting, destroying public and private property, attacking police officers, and inciting violence.

The Grand Mufti approved the death sentences for 37 in the case.

The court issued a final death penalty ruling against the 37 following the Mufti's opinion.

That case is currently being appealed.

In November 2014 during the United Nations periodical review of Egypt's human rights situation in Geneva, several countries including Germany, Hungary, France, Switzerland and Uruguay recommended that Egypt abolish the death sentence from its penal code.

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