Muslim Brotherhood’s top leader Mohamed Badie along with 13 others was today sentenced to life imprisonment while four members of the banned organisation received death penalty by an Egyptian court over the killing of protesters who stormed the group’s headquarters in 2013.
The case is related to clashes that took place near the Brotherhood’s headquarters on June 30, 2013, four days before the ouster of Islamist President Mohammed Morsi, that left 11 people dead and 91 wounded.
Brotherhood Supreme Guide Badie and his deputy Khairat al-Shater were among 14 who were sentenced to life, along with former lawmaker Mohammed el-Beltagy and party head Saad el-Katatni and his deputy Essam el-Erian.
They were charged with inciting violence near the Brotherhood’s headquarters, inciting killing of protesters, attempt to murder and possession of firearms among other crimes during the demonstration.
Badie and the other defendants present in court for the verdict denounced the sentence and shouted: “Down with military rule”.
Badie was arrested from a Nasr City apartment on August 20, 2013 while El-Shater was arrested on July 5, 2013.
Badie has already been sentenced by three separate courts to three life terms, and he was also handed two death sentences that were later overturned on appeal.
The court today also confirmed death sentences to four junior members of the Brotherhood for inciting violence during 2013 protests.
In December, the four members were sentenced to death and the case was referred to the Grand Mufti, who is according to Egyptian law must review all death sentences. The sentences were confirmed today.
Since Morsi’s ouster in 2013, the Egyptian government has been cracking down on the Muslim Brotherhood and its supporters.
Some 22,000 people have been arrested since Morsi’s ouster, including most of the Brotherhood’s leaders, as well as non-Islamist activists swept up by police during protests.
Morsi himself is currently in prison on charges of killing protesters, espionage, insulting the judiciary and escaping from prison during the protests in 2011.
He has recently been charged with spying and handing documents of national security importance to Qatari intelligence through the Qatar-based Al-Jazeera news channel.