Egypt to try 40 civilians in military courts over protests

December 15, 2014 18:46

CAIRO - An Egyptian prosecutor has referred 40 alleged supporters of the banned Muslim Brotherhood, including nine women, to a military court on charges related to their role in protests, judicial sources said, as the state continues to crack down on opponents.

Egypt expanded the jurisdiction of military courts in October to try civilians accused of acts ranging from attacking state facilities to blocking roads. That followed some of the worst assaults on security forces since last year's overthrow of President Mohammed Mםrsi of the Brotherhood.

The public prosecutor in the Suez Canal city of Ismailia said the 40 defendants had been arrested in various incidents and were charged with inciting violence and looting, blocking roads and belonging to a banned group.

They were also charged with breaking a law restricting protest, which has been used to imprison many of the leaders of the 2011 uprising that forced veteran autocrat Hosni Mubarak from power and ignited hopes for deeper change.

The Brotherhood was banned a year ago, thousands of its supporters have been locked up and hundreds were killed when police broke up two protest camps last year.

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