Last updated: 11 May, 2014

Egypt students jailed for 4 years over protests

An Egyptian court on Sunday sentenced 36 students from the prestigious Al-Azhar university to four years in prison each over violent protests backing ousted president Mohamed Morsi, judicial sources said.

Students supporters of the deposed Islamist regularly stage protests calling for his release at universities, in particular at Cairo’s Al-Azhar university, a prestigious seat of Sunni Islamic learning.

All 36 were found guilty of holding a violent protest in December, rioting, blocking roads in front of the university and showing aggression against the security forces, the sources said.

Each was also fined 30,000 Egyptian pounds (about $4,250, or 3,100 euros).

Another court has handed down life sentences to seven Morsi supporters after violent protests in mid-August in Qaliubiya province north of Cairo, a statement from the prosecution’s office said on Sunday. The sentence was on Saturday.

The group was accused of shooting passers-by, resisting security forces, cutting off a main highway and burning car tyres.

The violence erupted on August 14 after security forces dispersed two protest camps set up in Cairo by Morsi supporter to call for his reinstatement. Hundreds of people were killed that day.

Morsi was ousted by the army last July 3 after mass street protests against his divisive year-long rule.

Since his overthrow, a crackdown targeting his supporters has seen more than 1,400 people killed in street clashes, upwards of 15,000 jailed and hundreds sentenced to death after speedy mass trials.

Morsi, Egypt’s first freely elected president, himself faces three trials on various charges, including colluding with militant groups.