Cairo: Death sentences of 149 activists of the banned Muslim Brotherhood were revoked on Wednesday by an Egyptian appeals court which also ordered a retrial in the case in which the defendants were accused of killing 13 policemen and attacking a police station in 2013.
The Muslim Brotherhood activists were accused of killing 11 policemen, attacking a police station in Kerdasa, torching police and private vehicles, possessing weapons among other charges in 2013 following the dispersal of Rabaa and Nahda Muslim Brotherhood sit-ins, which left many Islamists dead.
An appeals court ordered a retrial for the defendants over the attack, which killed 11 policemen here on August 2013. The initial ruling came in February 2015 amid a series of death sentences in mass trials that were criticised internationally.
The court had sentenced 149 Muslim Brotherhood supporters to death and 34 others sentenced to death in absentia. The court also sentenced a child to ten years in prison, while two people were acquitted. Seven people have been executed for political violence since ex-president Mohamed Morsi’s ouster, including six who were convicted of belonging to an Islamist militant group.
Since Mr. Morsi’s ouster, the Egyptian government has been cracking down on the Muslim Brotherhood and its supporters, which left thousands in jail, and hundreds facing trials on various charges. Mr. Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood supreme guide Mohamed Badie and 100 other leaders were sentenced in June to death for escaping prison in 2011. Mr. Badie and Mr. Morsi were also sentenced to life in prison in an espionage case.