On Saturday, 75 people were sentenced to death by an Egyptian court for participating in a 2013 demonstration in support of deposed former president Mohamed Morsi, state-run news agency Ahram Online has reported.
The cases have been referred to the Grand Mufti – the country’s highest official of religious law – for a final decision, according to the publication. According to Egyptian law, before death sentences are carried out, a religious opinion on the matter must be issued by the Grand Mufti. His opinion is rarely ignored despite being officially nonbinding.
Defendants in the case include prominent members of the Muslim Brotherhood, who were arrested and tried for participating in a sit-in in Cairo to protest the removal of Morsi – the country’s first democratically elected leader and a former member of the brotherhood.
Amnesty International noted in a tweet that while demonstrators faced the death sentence, “no members of the security forces have been held responsible for the violent dispersal of the Rabaa protest”.
#Egypt: The verdict for @ShawkanZeid in the Rabaa dispersal case has been postponed to 8 September. 75 other men in the same case remain at risk of the death penalty. No members of the security forces have been held responsible for the violent dispersal of the Rabaa protest.
— AmnestyInternational (@amnesty) July 28, 2018