379 Morsi supporters referred to court over Nahda sit-in violence

El-Sayed Gamal El-Din , Wednesday 8 Apr 2015

Hundreds died when security forces dispersed pro-Mohamed Morsi sit-ins at Rabaa and Nahda squares in August 2013

Nahda Square
Supporters of Egypt's ousted President Mohammed Morsi shout slogans at Nahda Square, where protesters have installed their camp near Cairo University in Giza, southwest of Cairo, Egypt, Saturday, Aug. 10, 2013 (Photo: AP)

Egypt's top prosecutor on Wednesday referred 379 supporters of ousted Islamist president Mohamed Morsi to court over their participation in one of the main sit-ins calling for his reinstatement.

The defendants, all participants in the Nahda square protest camp near downtown Cairo, were charged with rioting, forming an armed group, murder, attempted murder, thuggery, sabotage of public property, possession of weapons, and torture.

The dispersal of the Rabaa and Nahda square sit-ins left hundreds killed and thousands arrested on a variety of charges. The dispersals also unleashed days of nationwide street clashes and attacks on security installations.

Prosecutors said the defendants fired at security forces when they moved to break up the sit-in on 14 August 2013, killing two policemen and injuring 27 others.

Some 187 of the accused have confessed to belonging to the Muslim Brotherhood and taking part in the sit-in, based on orders from the Brotherhood leaders, the prosecution added in a statement.

In a separate case related to the dispersal aftermath, a court upheld  sentences given to 70 Morsi supporters and rejected their appeals.

The defendants, who had received sentences ranging from one year to life in jail, were found guilty of rioting, inciting violence, murder, attempted murder, and sabotage of public property in the Nile Delta city of Mansoura following the breakup of the sit-ins.

The Muslim Brotherhood has been banned and designated a terrorist group by two court rulings. Thousands of its members and supporters face trials, including hundreds sentenced to death.

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