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Court Orders Release of Senior Muslim Brotherhood Leaders on Health Grounds

Court Orders Release of Senior Muslim Brotherhood Leaders on Health Grounds

Mohamed Badie, top leader of Egypt's outlawed Muslim Brotherhood, talks during a trial hearing alleging his involvement in a 2013 attack on a Port Said police station, at a court in Cairo, April 20, 2015. REUTERS/Al Youm Al Saabi Newspaper
Mohamed Badie, top leader of Egypt’s outlawed Muslim Brotherhood, talks during a trial hearing alleging his involvement in a 2013 attack on a Port Said police station, at a court in Cairo, April 20, 2015. REUTERS/Al Youm Al Saabi Newspaper

The Cairo Criminal Court ordered on Tuesday the release of ten defendants on health grounds in the case known as “Rabaa sit-in dispersal” which includes the Muslim Brotherhood Supreme Guide and 738 others.

The court adjourned the session to Jan. 17 to continue inspecting the exhibits.

Defendants in the case include senior brotherhood leaders such as Essam al-Erian, Mohamed al-Beltagy, Bassem Ouda and Abdelrahman al-Bar. Those were not among the ten ordered to be released.

The defendants face charges of “assembly, show of force, premeditated murder,” as well as intentional damage of property and possession of unlicensed firearms.

The dispersal of Rabaa al-Adaweya sit in dates back to August 2013. The encampment was in support of elected Muslim Brotherhood president Mohamed Mursi who was militarily ousted in July 2013 after mass protests against his rule.

Rabaa’s dispersal saw the killing of at least 1,150 demonstrators, according to Human Rights Watch in a 2014 report which said that it “probably amounts to a crime against humanity”.

The state’s National Council for Human Rights, however, said in March 2014 that the death toll was 632, including eight security personnel.

Egypt listed the Brotherhood as a terrorist organisation in December 2013.

The state insists the Brotherhood is behind the violent wave of militancy which has targeted security personnel since mid-2013. The Brotherhood continuously denies the accusations.

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Aswat Masriya is a Thomson Reuters Foundation-sponsored website that covers Egypt's transition to democracy. en.aswatmasriya.com

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