An Egyptian military court on Thursday slapped 14 people with life sentences (meaning a maximum 25 years of imprisonment) for belonging to the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood group and involvement in violence.
The court – located in Egypt’s northeastern Suez province – sentenced two others to ten years each in jail on the same charges, according to judicial sources.
One of the sources noted that four of the 17 defendants had been sentenced in absentia.
The sentences, the source added, were still subject to appeal.
The case dates back to late 2013, following the dispersal by police four months earlier of two protest camps set up by supporters of ousted Islamist President Mohamed Morsi in Egypt’s Cairo and Giza provinces.
President Field Marshal Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi
The defendants were accused of murdering two people, planning to kill others, belonging to a “terrorist group” and involvement in acts of violence.
Egypt designated the Muslim Brotherhood – the movement from which Morsi hails – a “terrorist”organization in December of 2013.
In October of 2014, President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi approved a law allowing civilians to be tried in military courts in cases involving attacks on state institutions and facilities.
As a result of the legislation, scores of Egyptians have since been referred to military courts on various charges.