Last updated: 2 July, 2014

Egypt refers 71 Morsi backers to trial over deadly violence

Egypt’s general prosecutor Wednesday bound over for trial 71 supporters of deposed Islamist president Mohamed Morsi over August 2013 violence that killed 16 people.

The trial is part of a relentless crackdown targeting Morsi supporters since the army ousted him last July.

More than 1,400 Morsi supporters have been killed in a police crackdown, while at least 16,000 have been jailed, and about 200 sentenced to death in speedy mass trials.

The 71 will stand trial over clashes that erupted in several districts of the Mediterranean city of Alexandria, in which 13 civilians and three policemen were killed, according to a statement by the general prosecutor’s office.

The fighting broke out on August 14, the day security forces moved to disband two Cairo Islamist sit-ins calling for Morsi’s reinstatement, sparking clashes that left hundreds dead.

The prosecution charged the defendants with murder, attempted murder, resisting security forces and vandalising a number of government and police installations as well as a church.

On Thursday, Egypt will mark the anniversary of Morsi’s overthrow, led by ex-army chief Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi, who won by a May election to succeed him.