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Former Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi has been sentenced to three years in prison for insulting the judiciary.

Mohammed Morsi already holds other jail terms including a life sentence.

The ousted leader is awaiting a retrial on a separate charge of conspiring to commit terrorist acts, for which he was previously sentenced to death. The death sentence was lifted on appeal.

Mohammed Morsi was overthrown by the military in 2013 and has been detained since. He is currently in a high-security prison.

He has also been fined a million Egyptian pounds ($56,000) relating to a speech given in 2013.

Image source Wikimedia

Mohamed Morsi Death Sentence Overturned by Egypt’s Court of Cassation

On December 30, other 17 co-defendants, including fines for political blogger Alaa Abdel Fattah and broadcaster Tawfiq Okasha, have been sentenced.

Mohammed Morsi has previously rejected the authority of the courts, and in his first trial shouted from the dock that he was being “forcibly detained”.

Since then the former president has been forced to sit in soundproof glass cages in courtrooms, which officials say are designed to prevent him disrupting proceedings.


Mohammed Morsi was overthrown by the military following mass protests a year after he took office as Egypt’s first democratically elected leader.

The authorities subsequently launched a crackdown on supporters of Mohammed Morsi and the Islamist movement to which he belongs, the now-banned Muslim Brotherhood.

The death sentences against Egypt’s ousted President Mohamed Morsi and five other Muslim Brotherhood leaders have been overturned by the country’s highest court of appeal.

Egypt’s Court of Cassation ordered that the six men face a retrial in connection with a mass prison break during the 2011 uprising against Hosni Mubarak.

Twenty-one life sentences for other Brotherhood members were overturned.

Mohamed Morsi was elected president in 2012 but was removed by the military in 2013 after protests against his rule.

Although the former president is no longer at risk of execution, he is serving three lengthy prison sentences relating to other convictions.

Mohamed Morsi and more than 100 other people were sentenced to death in May 2015 after being convicted of colluding with foreign militants – from the Palestinian Islamist movement Hamas and Lebanon’s Shia Islamist Hezbollah movement – to organize a mass prison break.Mohamed Morsi sentenced to 20 years in jail

He was being held at Wadi Natroun prison in January 2011 when armed men overcame the guards, freeing thousands of inmates.

Mohamed Morsi and his co-defendants, including the Brotherhood’s general guide Mohammed Badie, were also found guilty of the murder and kidnapping of guards, damaging and setting fire to prison buildings and looting the prison’s weapons depot.

In June 2015, a court upheld the death sentence against Mohamed Morsi and 98 others after consulting Egypt’s Grand Mufti, Shawi Allam.

It was not immediately clear why the Court of Cassation overturned the sentences on November 15, but Brotherhood lawyer Abdel Moneim said it had applied the law correctly.

Mohamed Morsi has also been sentenced to life in prison for allegedly conspiring to commit terrorist acts with foreign organizations and to another 40 years for allegedly leaking state secrets and sensitive documents to Qatar.

The former president was sentenced to 20 years after being convicted of ordering the unlawful detention and torture of opposition protesters during clashes with Brotherhood supporters outside a presidential palace in Cairo in December 2012.

Mohamed Morsi’s prosecution has taken place amid a wider crackdown on the Brotherhood, which President Abdul Fattah al-Sisi has outlawed and vowed to wipe out. Hundreds of people have been killed and tens of thousands of people imprisoned in the past three years.

His supporters have said the trials are politically motivated and attempts to give legal cover to a coup. They claim they are based on unreliable witnesses and scant evidence.

Also on November 15, the Court of Cassation approved the decision to release Hosni Mubarak’s two sons from prison, the state-owned Mena news agency reported.

In October 2015, a lower court ruled that the time Alaa and Gamal Mubarak had spent in temporary detention exceeded the legal limit.

Alaa and Gamal Mubarak, who were arrested soon after the 2011 uprising, were sentenced along with their father to three years in prison for embezzlement in May 2015.

Jailed Al Jazeera journalists Mohammed Fahmy and Baher Mohamed have been freed after receiving pardons from Egypt’s President Abdul Fattah al-Sisi.

Egyptian-Canadian Mohammed Fahmy and Egyptian Baher Mohamed were among 100 prisoners whose release was ordered.

Egypt’s state media said a third person from the case was also pardoned. It is not clear if this is the Australian Peter Greste, who was deported in February.

They were sentenced to three years in prison last month after a retrial.

Prosecutors accused them of collaborating with the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood after the overthrow of President Mohamed Morsi by the military in 2013.

The journalists denied the allegation and said they were simply reporting the news. Legal experts said the charges were unfounded and politically motivated.Al Jazeera journalists Egypt

A statement from President Abdul Fatah al-Sisi’s office issued on September 23 said Mohammed Fahmy and Baher Mohamed were named on a decree pardoning 100 young people “who had received final court sentences, having been convicted on the grounds of violating the anti-protest law and assaulting police forces”.

“Other prisoners were pardoned due to their health conditions and on humanitarian grounds,” the statement added.

Also named were the prominent activists Yara Sallam and Sanaa Seif, who were jailed in 2014 for taking part in an “illegal protest”.

After the pardons were first reported, a tweet from Mohammed Fahmy’s account said: “Thank you to all the supporters sending us the news, we have heard and are very happy. AJ Staff is Free!”

Al Jazeera said in a report on its website that it “continues to demand all charges and sentences against its journalists are dropped”, noting that Peter Greste and six other employees had been convicted in absentia.

The pardons were issued by President Abdul Fatah al-Sisi ahead of the Islamic festival of Eid al-Adha and a day before he travels to New York to address the UN General Assembly.

The president had said he would be willing to pardon the Al Jazeera journalists once the judicial process had ended.

Mohammed Fahmy, who renounced his Egyptian citizenship to qualify for deportation in February, was expected to leave for Canada following his release.

Al-Jazeera journalists Peter Greste, Mohamed Fahmy and Baher Mohamed, who were convicted in Egypt of “spreading false news”, have been sentenced to three years in prison at their retrial in Cairo.

Australian Peter Greste was deported back to Australia earlier this year and was on trial again in absentia.

Egyptian Baher Mohamed and Canadian-Egyptian Mohamed Fahmy were led away from court after the verdict.

Peter Greste, Mohamed Fahmy and Baher Mohamed are accused of aiding the banned Muslim Brotherhood group but they strenuously deny the allegations.

Photo EPA

Photo EPA

The three journalists were originally sentenced in July 2014, with Peter Greste and Mohamed Fahmy receiving 7 years and Baher Mohamed getting 10 years.

However, their convictions were overturned in January 2015 and they were freed in February to await retrial.

Giving the verdict on August 29, Judge Hassan Farid said the three men were not registered journalists and had been operating from a Cairo hotel without a license.

The judge handed three-year sentences to Peter Greste and Mohamed Fahmy but gave Baher Mohamed an additional six months.

It is unclear how long Mohamed Fahmy and Baher Mohamed will now serve. They were in prison for about a year before being freed.

Lawyers for the three journalists are expected to appeal against the decision.

Peter Greste said in a tweet that he was “shocked” and “outraged” while Al-Jazeera said the verdict was “yet another deliberate attack on press freedom”.

Outside the courtroom, Mohamed Fahmy’s lawyer, Amal Clooney, called on Egypt’s President Abdul Fattah al-Sisi to issue a pardon to the journalists.

“The verdict today sends a very dangerous message in Egypt,” she told reporters.

“It sends a message that journalists can be locked up for simply doing their job, for telling the truth and reporting the news.”

Amal Clooney said she would push for her client, who has given up his Egyptian citizenship, to be deported to Canada.

Egyptian Prosecutor General Hisham Barakat has been killed in a bomb attack on his car in Cairo, officials say.

Hisham Barakat died of his wounds in hospital after the bombing in the suburb of Heliopolis.

According to state media, at least eight others were also hurt in the attack.

Hisham Barakat has referred thousands of Islamists to trial since the overthrow of President Mohamed Morsi in 2013.

Hundreds of Islamists have been sentenced to death or life imprisonment, as part of a crackdown on supporters of the banned Muslim Brotherhood.

Jihadist militants have meanwhile stepped up their attacks on Egypt’s security forces.Prosecutor General Hisham Barakat killed in Cairo

Hisham Barakat is the most senior figure to have been targeted for assassination since a 2013 attempt on the life of the then-interior minister.

“He [Hisham Barakat] has passed away,” Justice Minister Ahmed al-Zind told AFP news agency.

The Egyptian state news agency Mena said that he had died after undergoing critical surgery. A medical official at the hospital told the Associated Press that Hisham Barakat had received multiple shrapnel wounds to the shoulder, chest and liver.

The attack involved a car bomb or an explosive device placed under a parked car near Hisham Barakat’s convoy, bomb squad chief Gen. Mohamed Gamal told AFP.

The explosion sent black smoke rising over the neighborhood and set fire to nearby trees. Images from the scene showed several damaged vehicles and bloodstains on the streets.

At least three civilians were killed, according to Mena. Witnesses said that the blast had been strong enough to shatter the windows of nearby homes.

At the hospital, an injured bodyguard said that the explosion had hit Hisham Barakat’s convoy on the way to the office.

“There was glass flying everywhere. It was as if there was an earthquake,” he said, according to AFP.

Hisham Barakat had received death threats in the past.

The Egyptian affiliate of the Islamic State militant group (ISIS) recently called for attacks on the judiciary, after the hanging of six militants.

Al-Jazeera reporter Ahmed Mansour has been freed in Germany after being detained following an extradition request from Egypt, German prosecutors confirmed.

Ahmed Mansour, who works for the network’s Arabic-language service, was held on June 20 as he tried to board a flight from Berlin to Qatar.

A court in Egypt’s capital Cairo sentenced Ahmed Mansour to 15 years in prison in absentia last year on torture charges.

Al-Jazeera says the accusations against Ahmed Mansour are absurd and false.

“This was an unfortunate incident in Germany, but we are pleased that the mistake has been rectified,” said al-Jazeera’s acting director general, Mostefa Souag.Ahmed Mansour freed in Berlin

“We hope that this will be a lesson to the Egyptian authorities that the rest of the world values freedom of the press,” he added.

Ahmed Mansour’s lawyer, Patrick Teubner, told Associated Press that there were no further legal matters pending against his client in Germany.

Ahmed Mansour was released into a cheering crowd on June 22.

“Thanks to people around the world who supported me in the last days,” he said, according to AFP.

Earlier, the German government had said that it could veto an extradition decision from the court.

Foreign ministry spokesman Martin Schaefer told a news conference that Germany has repeatedly questioned the rule of law in Egypt.

“Against this background, you will surely understand that there are doubts in the Mansour case,” he said.

“I don’t think one can say this loudly enough: Of course, nobody will be extradited from Germany who risks being sentenced to death abroad.”

Ahmed Mansour, along with two Muslim Brotherhood members and an Islamic preacher, is accused of taking part in the torture of a lawyer in Cairo’s Tahrir Square in 2011, during protests against then President Hosni Mubarak.

Video footage of the incident shows the lawyer being kicked but does not show Ahmed Mansour, according to AP. The journalist later interviewed the preacher about the incident, the news agency says.

Al-Jazeera senior journalist Ahmed Mansour has been arrested in Germany at the request of Egypt.

Ahmed Mansour, who works for the channel’s Arabic-language service, was detained as he tried to board a flight from Berlin to Qatar.

Egyptian authorities had issued an international arrest warrant for Ahmed Mansour, a German police official said.

A Cairo court sentenced Ahmed Mansour, 52, to 15 years in prison in absentia in 2014 on torture charges.

Al-Jazeera says the claims made against Ahmed Mansour, who has dual British and Egyptian citizenship, are absurd and false.Al Jazeera Ahmed Mansour detained in Berlin

Ahmed Mansour tweeted on Saturday night: “I am still under arrest at Berlin airport, waiting to be taken before an investigating judge.”

Al-Jazeera reporter that Ahmed Mansour is expected to remain in custody until June 22 when he will go in front of a German judge.

A police spokesman said the arrest was made at 15:20 local time.

He added that the Egyptian-issued arrest warrant accused Ahmed Mansour of committing “several crimes” but he gave no further details.

Al-Jazeera said the Egyptian warrant was previously rejected by international police body Interpol as it did not meet its rules.

In a video recorded while detained, Ahmed Mansour described the incident as a “misunderstanding” and said he hoped it would be resolved quickly.

“It is quite ludicrous that a country like Germany would enforce and support such a request made by a dictatorial regime like the one we have in Egypt,” he added.

“Other countries must not allow themselves to be tools of this media oppression, least of all those that respect freedom of the media as does Germany,” said al-Jazeera acting director General Mostefa Souag.

Relations between Doha and Cairo have been strained by Qatar’s support for the now-banned Muslim Brotherhood organization in Egypt.

Three al-Jazeera journalists, including Australian Peter Greste, were arrested in Egypt in 2013 on charges of supporting the Muslim Brotherhood.

Egyptian President Abdul Fattah al-Sisi visited Germany earlier this month and met with Chancellor Angela Merkel.

Former Egyptian leader Mohamed Morsi has been sentenced to life in prison for espionage.

Ex-President Mohamed Morsi was accused of spying on behalf of the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas, Lebanese militants Hezbollah and Iran.

The court is yet to decide on whether to uphold death sentences given to Mohamed Morsi and 100 others over a mass prison break in 2011.

Mohamed Morsi’s supporters have described the charges against him as “farcical”.

The former leader was deposed in July 2013 following mass street protests against his rule and is already serving a 20-year jail term for ordering the arrest and torture of demonstrators.Egypt's former president Mohamed Morsi inside a glass cage during his trial in Cairo earlier this ye

The judge said on June 16 that the Muslim Brotherhood “collaborated with Palestinian Hamas to infiltrate Egypt’s eastern borders and attack prisons”, state TV reported.

Mohamed Morsi was given life, while 16 other Muslim Brotherhood members – including leader Khairat al-Shater – were sentenced to death on charges of delivering secret documents abroad between 2005 and 2013.

In Egypt, a life sentence is 25 years in jail.

A final ruling on Mohamed Morsi’s death sentence for the 2011 prison break is expected after a court recess. It has been awaiting the opinion of Egypt’s highest religious figure, the Grand Mufti.

Egypt’s ousted President Mohamed Morsi and more than 100 other people have been sentenced to death over a mass prison break in 2011.

Mohamed Morsi is already serving a 20-year prison term for ordering the arrest and torture of protesters while in power.

Egypt’s religious authorities will now have to give their opinion before the sentence can be carried out.

Mohamed Morsi’s supporters from his Muslim Brotherhood movement have described the charges against him as “farcical”.

He was deposed by the military in July 2013 following mass street protests against his rule.

Since then, the authorities have banned the Muslim Brotherhood and arrested thousands of his supporters.

In a separate case on May 16, an Egyptian court banned football fan clubs known as the Ultras, who played a leading role in protests during the 2011 uprising against then-president Hosni Mubarak.

The former president raised both fists in defiance as the sentences were given.

Mohammed Morsi, who escaped from Wadi Natroun prison in January 2011, was accused of colluding with foreign militants in a plot to free Islamists during the mass prison breaks.Egypt's Islamist former president Mohamed Morsi in court

Many of his 104 co-defendants were Palestinians accused of being members of militant group Hamas, and were charged in absentia.

The court also issued rulings on another case, sentencing 16 Muslim Brotherhood members, including deputy leader Khairat al-Shater, to death on spying charges.

Mohamed Morsi, who also faces espionage charges, will be issued a verdict in that case at a later date.

Hundreds of people have been sentenced to death in a crackdown on the Brotherhood following Mohamed Morsi’s removal in 2013.

However, it is thought that only one such death sentence has been carried out so far.

All death sentences must first be sent to the grand mufti, Egypt’s highest religious authority, for his non-binding opinion on whether they should stand.

Convictions are still open to appeal, even if the grand mufti gives his approval.

The death sentence was condemned by Amnesty International, which said it had become a tool “to purge the political opposition”, and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who likened it to a return to “ancient Egypt”.

Mohamed Morsi was Egypt’s first freely elected president, but protests began building less than a year into his rule when he issued a decree granting himself far-reaching powers.

The armed forces, led by then-military chief Abdul Fattah al-Sisi, ousted Mohamed Morsi in July 2013.

In May 2014, Abdul Fattah al-Sisi became president after securing a landslide victory in presidential elections with a turnout of 46%.

Former Egypt’s President Mohamed Morsi has been sentenced to 20 years in prison for ordering the arrest and torture of protesters during his rule.

It is the first verdict Mohamed Morsi has received since his ousting and is one of several trials he faces.

Mohamed Morsi was deposed by the army in July 2013 following mass street protests against his rule.

Since then, the authorities have banned his Muslim Brotherhood movement and arrested thousands of his supporters.Mohamed Morsi sentenced to 20 years in jail

Mohamed Morsi and 14 other Muslim Brotherhood figures escaped a more serious charge of inciting the killing of protesters, which could have carried the death sentence.

Most of the other defendants were also given 20-year prison sentences.

The group stood accused of inciting supporters to kill a journalist and opposition protesters in clashes outside the presidential palace in late 2012.

As crowds grew outside the palace, Mohamed Morsi ordered the police to disperse them.

They refused, so the Muslim Brotherhood brought in their own supporters. Eleven people died in the ensuing clashes, mostly from the Brotherhood.

Hearing the verdict, Mohamed Morsi and the other defendants gave a four-fingered salute, a symbol of the deadly clearance of Brotherhood supporters at the Rabaah al-Adawiya mosque in 2013, AP reports.

Mohamed Morsi himself has rejected the authority of the courts, shouting during his first trial that he was the victim of a military coup.

On April 20, a court sentenced 22 Muslim Brotherhood supporters to death for an attack on a police station in Cairo, part of an ongoing crackdown against the Islamist movement.

An Egyptian judge has confirmed the death sentences for the Supreme Guide of the Muslim Brotherhood Mohammed Badie and 13 others.

They have been sentenced to death for planning attacks against the state.

A US-Egyptian citizen and 36 others have been jailed for life.

Mohammed Badie was sentenced in March and is embroiled in some 40 other trials. The sentences are subject to appeal.

Hundreds of people have been sentenced to death in a crackdown on the Brotherhood following the removal of President Mohamed Morsi in 2013.

However, so far only one death sentence has been carried out.Mohammed Badie death sentence

The court session was broadcast live on TV.

The sentences are the final phase in the trial which saw Muslim Brotherhood leaders charged with encouraging members of the group to confront the state and spread chaos following the dispersal of protests in 2013.

They were handed down following advice from Egypt’s highest Islamic legal official, the grand mufti.

Two of the defendants were sentenced to death in absentia.

Mohamed Badie was already sentenced to death in a case last year related to attacks on police stations in the southern province of Minya. But the ruling was later overturned and a retrial was ordered.

US-Egyptian citizen Mohamed Soltan was sentenced to life imprisonment for supporting the Brotherhood and transmitting false news.

The son of Brotherhood preacher Salah Soltan, he has been on hunger strike for months and has received attention from local and international human rights organizations.

Critics describe the trials against Brotherhood members as politicized, but the government insists on the transparency and independence of the judiciary.

Al-Jazeera reporter Peter Greste was freed from Egypt prison and deported on February 1.

After 400 days behind bars, Peter Greste landed safely in Cyprus, on his way to his native Australia.

Peter Greste will not rest until his colleagues are released from prison in Egypt, his family says.

He was arrested in 2013 and tried on charges that included spreading false news and aiding the Muslim Brotherhood.

Two al-Jazeera colleagues, Mohamed Fahmy and Baher Mohamed, remain jailed.

Mohamed Fahmy, who holds dual Egyptian and Canadian citizenship, may be freed after having his Egyptian nationality revoked, presidential sources said.

But there are still concerns about Baher Mohamed, an Egyptian who holds no dual nationality.

Peter Greste spoke about his concerns for his colleagues to his family after his release.

Speaking at a press conference in the Australian city of Brisbane, brother Andrew Greste said: “We want to acknowledge that Peter’s two other colleagues are still there.”Peter Greste jailed in Egypt

His father Juris Greste said that they felt very deeply for those left behind.

Andrew Greste also thanked all those who had supported his brother and worked for his release.

“We are small cogs in this massive campaign,” he said.

Australia’s Foreign Minister Julie Bishop said Peter Greste had told her in a telephone conversation that he was eager to return to his family in Brisbane.

“He was immensely relieved and he was desperate to come home to Australia and reunite with his family,” said Julie Bishop.

“From my discussion with him, he was very keen to be back on a beach and lying in the sun in Australia.”

The three journalists had been accused of collaborating with the banned Muslim Brotherhood after the overthrow of President Mohamed Morsi by the military in 2013.

All the defendants denied the charges against them and said their trial was a sham.

Mohamed Fahmy and Peter Greste were sentenced to seven years in prison and Baher Mohamed to 10. Their convictions were overturned on January 1, but the men remained in custody pending a retrial.

Peter Greste’s release on Sunday came after a long international campaign.

His family said that he would return to Australia when he felt ready.

His mother, Lois Greste, said she had been quietly dreaming about this moment.

The first hints of Peter Greste’s release came in November, when President Abdul Fattah al-Sisi said he was considering granting pardons to the two foreign al-Jazeera journalists.

He had earlier signed a decree on repatriating foreign prisoners.

Peter Greste’s release was eventually confirmed by a statement issued by the Egyptian interior ministry.

According to campaign group Reporters Without Borders, there are currently 165 journalists imprisoned around the world, in countries including China, Iran, Eritrea, Egypt, Uzbekistan and Russia.

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Egypt’s former military chief Abdul Fattah al-Sisi has won an overwhelming victory in the country’s presidential election, according to partial results.

Abdul Fattah al-Sisi gained over 93% of the vote with ballots from most polling stations counted, state media say.

Turnout is expected to be about 46% despite a massive push to get more people to polling stations. Many groups boycotted the vote.

Abdul Fattah al-Sisi deposed President Mohamed Morsi last July after mass protests.

Egypt’s former military chief Abdul Fattah al-Sisi gained over 93 percent of the vote with ballots from most polling stations counted

Egypt’s former military chief Abdul Fattah al-Sisi gained over 93 percent of the vote with ballots from most polling stations counted

He has overseen a bloody crackdown on Mohamed Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood movement in which more than 1,400 people have been killed and 16,000 detained.

The Brotherhood said it would boycott the vote, as did many liberal and secular activist groups.

The Islamist movement rejected the vote on Thursday with Tariq al-Zumar, a senior member of the Brotherhood, calling the process a “theatrical play, which did not convince anybody”.

Hamdeen Sabahi, the only other candidate in the election, said earlier his team had recorded “violations” in the voting process.

However, he rejected calls from his supporters to withdraw from the elections, saying it was not in the interest of Egyptians.

Hamdeen Sabahi secured fewer than 760,000 of the 24.7 million votes counted, and lost out in many regions to a high number of spoiled ballots, the state-run al-Ahram newspaper reports.

Hundreds of Abdul Fattah al-Sisi supporters took to the streets of Cairo in the early hours of Thursday as results emerged, waving Egyptian flags, setting off fireworks and honking their car horns.

The military-backed authorities had extended voting to a third day in the hope of boosting turnout.

But reports suggested many polling stations were almost deserted on Wednesday.

Egypt’s new president will inherit a crippled economy, a low level insurgency, and a bitterly divided nation.

He had aimed to win 40 million of 54 million registered votes, to show that he had the support of the majority of Egypt. In the event, it appears about 25 million voted.

In comparison, turnout for the previous presidential election between Mohamed Morsi and former PM Ahmed Shafiq was around 52%.

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Egypt is voting in new presidential election, for the second time in two years.

A huge security operation has been mounted for the polls to elect a successor to Mohamed Morsi, Egypt’s first democratically elected leader who was ousted by the army last year.

Analysts predict an easy victory for Abdul Fattah al-Sisi, the former army chief who led the removal of Mohamed Morsi.

The only other candidate is veteran left-winger Hamdeen Sabahi.

Analysts predict an easy victory for Abdul Fattah al-Sisi, the former army chief who led the removal of Mohamed Morsi

Analysts predict an easy victory for Abdul Fattah al-Sisi, the former army chief who led the removal of Mohamed Morsi

Abdul Fattah al-Sisi, 59, appeals to Egyptians who crave stability after years of political upheaval and anything else than an easy win for him would be a source of astonishment.

President Mohamed Morsi was deposed last July following mass protests and he is standing trial on a raft of charges. He strongly denies any wrongdoing.

Egypt’s interim authorities have since clamped down hard on Mohamed Morsi’s Islamist movement, the Muslim Brotherhood, declaring it a “terrorist organization”.

More than 1,400 people have been killed and 16,000 arrested, including the Brotherhood’s senior leaders.

In his election campaign, Abdul Fattah al-Sisi has set out plans to develop agriculture, housing, education, impoverished areas and employment.

He is backed by several big businessmen as well as a broad range of political parties from the Islamist right to the moderate left.

Hamdeen Sabahi, a previous presidential contender, offers an alternative to young voters who favor a civilian candidate over a former military one.

He promises to combat corruption and incompetence while promoting civil rights.

Both candidates say they will not re-legalize the Muslim Brotherhood.

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An Egypt court has recommended the death penalty for 683 people – including Muslim Brotherhood leader Mohammed Badie – at a mass trial in Cairo.

The defendants faced charges over an attack on a police station in Minya in 2013 in which a policeman was killed.

However, the judge also commuted to life terms 492 death sentences out of 529 passed in March in a separate case.

Also on Monday, a court banned a youth group that helped ignite the uprising that toppled Hosni Mubarak in 2011.

The decision passed in Cairo to outlaw the April 6 pro-democracy movement was based on a complaint that accused the group of “tarnishing the image” of Egypt and colluding with foreign parties.

Ahmed Maher, the group’s leader, was sentenced to three years in prison in December for violating a law that bans all but police-sanctioned protests.

The cases and speed of the mass trial hearings have drawn widespread criticism from human rights groups and the UN.

The trials took just hours each and the court prevented defense lawyers from presenting their case, according to Human Right Watch.

Families outside the court were not told who of the 529 sentenced in March faced the death penalty

Families outside the court were not told who of the 529 sentenced in March faced the death penalty (photo Reuters)

The sentences have been referred to the Grand Mufti – Egypt’s top Islamic authority – for approval or rejection, a step which correspondents say is usually considered a formality. A final decision will be issued in June.

Authorities have cracked down harshly on Islamists since President Mohamed Morsi, who belongs to the Muslim Brotherhood, was removed by the military in July.

Hundreds have been killed and thousands arrested.

The verdict was the first against Mohammed Badie in the several trials he faces on various charges along with Mohamed Morsi himself and other Brotherhood leaders.

Of the 683 sentenced on Monday, only about 50 are in detention but the others have a right to a retrial if they hand themselves in.

The group was accused of involvement in the murder and attempted murder of policemen in Minya province on August 14, the day police killed hundreds of Muslim Brotherhood supporters in clashes in Cairo.

Defense lawyers boycotted the last session, branding it “farcical.”

The final judgement on the sentencing of the 529 Muslim Brotherhood supporters accused of attacking another police station in the same province on the same day means 37 will now face the death penalty.

Defense lawyer Khaled Elkomy said 60% of those defendants, including teachers and doctors, have evidence that “proves they were not present” when that station was attacked, a statement released by human rights group Avaaz said.

Last month, the UN human rights commissioner condemned the two trials and said they had breached international human rights law.

A spokesman for Navi Pillay said the “cursory mass trial” was “rife with procedural irregularities.”

The government had defended the court’s handling of the first mass case, insisting that the sentences were passed only “after careful study” and were subject to appeal.

At least 1,000 opponents of the military-installed regime have been sentenced since December. As well as the death sentences, the jail terms passed range from six months to life.

The authorities have designated the Brotherhood a terrorist group, blaming it for a series of bombings and attacks. The group has strongly denied the accusations.

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An Egyptian court has sentenced to death 529 supporters of ousted Islamist President Mohamed Morsi.

Muslim Brotherhood members were convicted of charges including murdering a policeman and attacks on people and property.

The group is among over 1,200 supporters of Mohamed Morsi on trial, including senior Muslim Brotherhood members.

Authorities have cracked down harshly on Islamists since Mohamed Morsi was removed by the military in July. Hundreds have been killed and thousands arrested.

They are expected to appeal.

The verdict now goes to Egypt’s supreme religious authority, the Grand Mufti, for approval or rejection.

529 Muslim Brotherhood members were convicted of charges including murdering a policeman and attacks on people and property

529 Muslim Brotherhood members were convicted of charges including murdering a policeman and attacks on people and property

Campaigners say that while death sentences are often handed down in Egypt, few have been carried out in recent years.

The final trial session will not be held until April 28, so there is some time left before the sentence is confirmed and there will be time to appeal in that period.

The court in Minya, south of Cairo, issued its ruling after only two sessions in which the defendants’ lawyers complained they had no chance to present their case.

Lawyers have accused the presiding judge of “veering away from all legal norms” and denying justice to the accused, our correspondent adds.

They were convicted, among other charges, of the murder of the deputy commander of the Matay district police station in Minya.

More than 150 suspects were in court for the trial – the others were convicted in absentia, reports say.

The court also acquitted 16 other defendants.

The attacks took place in August after security forces broke up two camps of pro-Morsi supporters in Cairo, killing hundreds of people.

Mohamed Morsi was ousted by the military in July 2013 following mass street protests against his government.

A second group of 700 Mohamed Morsi supporters is due to go on trial on Tuesday.

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Gunmen have killed six Egyptian soldiers at a checkpoint in the northern Cairo suburb of Shubra al-Khayma, state media reports.

A security official said two bombs left behind by the attackers had been defused.

The violence comes two days after another soldier was shot dead in an attack on an army bus in eastern Cairo.

Egypt has seen an upsurge in violence since the overthrow of Islamist President Mohamed Morsi last July

Egypt has seen an upsurge in violence since the overthrow of Islamist President Mohamed Morsi last July

There has been an upsurge in violence since the overthrow of Islamist President Mohamed Morsi last July.

The military has accused Mohamed Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood of carrying out this latest and previous attacks. The Muslim Brotherhood denies involvement.

The Muslim Brotherhood was designated a terrorist group in December and thousands of its members have been put on trial.

A series of high-profile attacks on security forces in Cairo and the Sinai Peninsula have been claimed by another group, Ansar Beit al-Maqdis, which it says are in revenge for the military-backed government’s repression of Mohamed Morsi’s supporters.

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Egypt’s former President Mohamed Morsi has arrived in court in the capital, Cairo, for the resumption of one of the four trials against him.

Mohamed Morsi and 14 other figures from the Muslim Brotherhood are charged with inciting the killing of protesters near the presidential palace in 2012.

At a hearing in another trial four days ago, a defiant Mohamed Morsi shouted that he was still the legitimate president.

The ousted was deposed by the army last year after huge crowds rallied against him.

Mohamed Morsi is now facing four separate criminal trials on various charges.

His Islamist supporters say the charges against him are politically motivated, although officials insist the trials are free and fair.

Mohamed Morsi has arrived in court in the capital, Cairo, for the resumption of one of the four trials against him

Mohamed Morsi has arrived in court in the capital, Cairo, for the resumption of one of the four trials against him

Mohamed Morsi was flown in by helicopter on Saturday morning from his prison in Alexandria.

Heavy security has been deployed outside the National Police Academy compound where the hearing is taking place.

On Friday, riot police fired tear gas at hundreds of Mohamed Morsi supporters in Cairo and Alexandria and Fayoum, south of the capital.

Islamists have staged regular protests demanding the reinstatement of Mohamed Morsi but have been met with a heavy crackdown in which hundreds have died.

The Muslim Brotherhood has been declared a terrorist organization and authorities have punished any public showing of support for it.

Human rights groups have dismissed some of the allegations against Mohamed Morsi as preposterous.

There were chaotic scenes when he first appeared in court in early November for the trial resuming on Saturday.

Mohamed Morsi chanted slogans against the current government and the court. He also refused to recognize the court’s legitimacy or put on the required prison uniform.

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Twenty journalists, including four foreigners, are facing charges in Egypt, prosecutors have said.

The Egyptian journalists are accused of belonging to a “terrorist organization” and the four foreigners are accused of assisting it, or spreading false news.

The defendants include two Britons, a Dutch national and an Australian – believed to be al-Jazeera correspondent Peter Greste.

Earlier, international news networks called for the release of five al-Jazeera journalists.

The 16 Egyptian defendants face several allegations including belonging to a terrorist group, harming national unity and social peace, and using terrorism as a means to their goals.

The four foreigners are accused of collaborating with the Egyptians and providing them with information, equipment, and money as well as broadcasting false information and rumors to convince the international community that Egypt was undergoing a civil war.

Eight of the defendants are in detention, while 12 are on the run with arrest warrants issued against them, according to the prosecutor’s statement.

No names are mentioned. But it said the four foreigners were correspondents for the Qatari al-Jazeera news network.

Peter Greste's appeal against his detention without charge was denied on Wednesday by a Cairo court

Peter Greste’s appeal against his detention without charge was denied on Wednesday by a Cairo court

“We only know of five people in jail,” said al-Jazeera’s head of newsgathering Heather Allen.

“We don’t know about the full charge. Things are not clear at the moment. We are still waiting for clarity.”

Peter Greste’s appeal against his detention without charge was denied on Wednesday by a Cairo court.

The staff members and journalists of al-Jazeera were arrested in late December following interior ministry accusations of illegally broadcasting from a hotel suite.

Al-Jazeera has said the men were merely reporting the situation in Egypt.

Of the three arrested a month ago, Peter Greste is accused of collaborating with “terrorists” by talking to members of the Muslim Brotherhood, which has been banned by the military-backed government.

Al-Jazeera Cairo bureau chief Mohammed Fahmy, who is Egyptian-Canadian, and Egyptian producer Baher Mohamed are accused of the more serious offence of membership of the Muslim Brotherhood.

The al-Jazeera network says it was “surprised” when its reporters were arrested by Egyptian authorities.

Two more of its staff – journalist Abdullah al-Shami and cameraman Mohammad Badr – were arrested in July and August.

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The results of a two-day referendum showed that the proposed new Egyptian constitution has been backed by 98.1% of people, officials say.

Turnout was 38.6% of the 53 million eligible voters, the election committee said.

The draft constitution replaces one introduced by Islamist President Mohamed Morsi before he was ousted.

The referendum is being seen as a vote on the legitimacy of Mohamed Morsi’s removal and of the army, which toppled him in July last year.

The vote, which took place on Tuesday and Wednesday but was boycotted by members of the Muslim Brotherhood, the Islamist movement from which Mohamed Morsi comes and which wants to see him returned to office.

Several people died in violence involving Mohamed Morsi’s supporters on the first day of voting.

Egypt’s draft constitution replaces one introduced by Islamist President Mohamed Morsi before he was ousted

Egypt’s draft constitution replaces one introduced by Islamist President Mohamed Morsi before he was ousted

There were further clashes with the security forces on Friday in which four people died, the Health Ministry said.

Election Commission head Nabil Salib called the vote an “unrivalled success” with “unprecedented turnout”, AP news agency reported.

A constitutional referendum held in 2012 while Mohamed Morsi was in power but boycotted by secularists saw a turnout of 33%, with 64% of voters approving the document.

The new proposed constitution was drafted by a 50-member committee that included only two representatives of Islamist parties.

Critics say the document favors the army at the expense of the people, and fails to deliver on the 2011 revolution that led to the fall of Hosni Mubarak.

Under the draft:

  • The president may serve two four-year terms and can be impeached by parliament
  • Islam remains the state religion – but freedom of belief is absolute, giving some protection to minorities
  • The state guarantees “equality between men and women”
  • Parties may not be formed based on “religion, race, gender or geography”
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Egypt has begun voting in a two-day referendum on a new constitution, which could pave the way for fresh elections.

The new charter aims to replace the constitution passed under Islamist President Mohamed Morsi months before he was ousted by the army.

The military wants a strong “Yes” vote to endorse Mohamed Morsi’s removal.

Mohamed Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood, now designated a terrorist group, is boycotting the vote and there are fears of violence.

Shortly before voting began, an explosion took place near a court building in Cairo’s Imbaba district, although no casualties were reported.

A huge security operation is being mounted for the two days of voting. The interior ministry says 200,000 police officers, 150 central security units and 200 combat groups are being deployed around polling stations on both days.

Army chief Gen. Abdel Fattah al-Sisi visited one polling station in north Cairo, telling guards there: “Work hard. We need the referendum to be completely secured.”

However, spotting any posters from the “No” campaign is a lot harder and people have been arrested for putting them up.

The referendum is seen by many as more than a ballot on a new constitution – it is widely viewed as a verdict on the removal of Mohamed Morsi.

Television pictures showed long lines of voters at some Cairo polling stations.

Interim PM Hazem Beblawi has called the referendum the “most critical moment” for Egypt.

After voting on Tuesday, he said: “Our country needs every vote from Egyptians.”

Egypt has begun voting in a two-day referendum on a new constitution

Egypt has begun voting in a two-day referendum on a new constitution

The new constitution was drafted by a 50-member committee that included only two representatives of Islamist parties.

The authorities maintain that the new draft delivers more rights and freedoms, and is a crucial step on the road to stability.

Under the new constitution:

  • The president may serve two four-year terms and can be impeached by parliament
  • Islam remains the state religion – but freedom of belief is absolute, giving some protection to minorities
  • The state guarantees “equality between men and women”
  • Parties may not be formed based on “religion, race, gender or geography”

Critics say the new constitution favors the army at the expense of the people, and fails to deliver on the revolution of 2011 which overthrew Hosni Mubarak.

The new constitution retains a provision allowing civilians to be tried in military courts, and it gives the military control over the appointment of the defense minister for the next eight years.

It also stipulates that the military’s budget will be beyond civilian oversight

A “yes” vote could also pave the way for fresh presidential and parliamentary elections.

It now seems certain that Gen. Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, who backed Mohamed Morsi’s removal following mass protests, will run for president.

The constitution is expected to attract a resounding “Yes” vote, but the turnout is key, analysts say.

The last charter, passed just over a year ago, was approved by 63.8%, but only 32.9% of the population voted.

Mohamed Morsi was Egypt’s first democratically elected president but was deposed by the military last July.

He is being held in jail in Alexandria, facing several criminal charges relating to his time in office – which he says are politically motivated.

Many of the Muslim Brotherhood’s senior leaders and the movement’s supporters are also behind bars.

More than 1,000 people have died in violence since Mohamed Morsi’s overthrow.

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Former Egypt’s President Mohamed Morsi might not appear in court in Cairo because bad weather has prevented his departure from prison, officials say.

Other defendants have arrived at the police compound by helicopter but Mohamed Morsi is still in Alexandria.

Mohamed Morsi and 14 other Muslim Brotherhood figures are accused of inciting the killing of protesters outside a presidential palace in 2012.

He was removed by the army last July after demonstrations against his rule.

Mohamed Morsi’s supporters have since held regular protests calling for his reinstatement.

Last Friday at least 11 people died in clashes between police and pro-Muslim Brotherhood demonstrators across Egypt.

A helicopter carrying some of the defendants arrived at the National Police Academy complex in Cairo for the hearing early on Wednesday, reporters said.

However state media said Mohamed Morsi’s arrival had been delayed by bad weather. He is being held at the city’s Burj al-Arab prison.

Mohamed Morsi’s supporters have held regular protests calling for his reinstatement

Mohamed Morsi’s supporters have held regular protests calling for his reinstatement

Egyptian media said thousands of police were on alert and TV pictures showed some pro-Morsi protesters being arrested as they waved the four-finger salute adopted by supporters of the ousted president.

Mohamed Morsi is due to be asked to appoint a lawyer, which he refused to do during his initial appearance.

He also faces several other charges ranging from fraud to colluding with foreign militants in a terrorist plot.

Mohamed Morsi faces another court hearing at the end of January, accused with some 130 others of murdering policemen during a mass breakout from a Cairo prison in January 2011 shortly before the overthrow of President Hosni Mubarak.

Human rights groups have dismissed some of the allegations against him as preposterous.

Egyptian officials insist Mohamed Morsi will be given a fair trial but lawyers trying to defend him say they have been denied access to him.

He first appeared in court in early November amid chaotic scenes.

Speaking from behind bars, he insisted he was still the president and was being held against his will.

Mohamed Morsi refused to acknowledge the legitimacy of the court and would not wear a prison uniform.

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Three journalists working for the Al-Jazeera broadcaster in Cairo have been arrested by Egyptian police.

The Interior Ministry said the journalists had held illegal meetings with the banned Muslim Brotherhood.

The Muslim Brotherhood was declared a terrorist organization last week.

The military-backed interim government launched a crackdown on the movement following President Mohamed Morsi’s removal from power.

Thousands of Muslim Brotherhood members, including its leadership, have been arrested and many put on trial.

The journalists, who work for Al-Jazeera English, are understood to have been detained late on Sunday night.

Three journalists working for the Al-Jazeera broadcaster in Cairo have been arrested by Egyptian police

Three journalists working for the Al-Jazeera broadcaster in Cairo have been arrested by Egyptian police

They are Mohamed Fadel Fahmy, who holds Canadian nationality, Peter Greste, an Australian, and an unnamed cameraman who is said to have been arrested at home.

The Egyptian Interior Ministry said in a statement that cameras, recordings and other material had been seized from rooms at a hotel in Cairo.

It accused the journalists of broadcasting news that were “damaging to national security”.

Observers say Egypt’s media environment has been highly charged since Mohamed Morsi’s overthrow.

Several Islamist channels were closed down immediately after the military intervention in the summer. Journalists working for them were temporarily detained.

The latest arrests come after fresh deadly clashes between police and Muslim Brotherhood supporters across Egypt.

Three people were killed – in Cairo, southern Minya province and the Nile Delta – during the violence.

Security forces detained some 265 Muslim Brotherhood supporters, officials said.

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Muslim Brotherhood supporters clashed with Egyptian police and Cairo university buildings were set on fire killing one student.

State TV blamed protesters for the fire at al-Azhar University’s business faculty, where exams had to be postponed, and the agriculture faculty.

The Muslim Brotherhood said police were “fabricating” the charges.

Muslim Brotherhood supporters clashed with Egyptian police and Cairo university buildings were set on fire killing one student

Muslim Brotherhood supporters clashed with Egyptian police and Cairo university buildings were set on fire killing one student

The crackdown on the group began when President Mohamed Morsi, who belongs to it, was deposed by the army in July.

The campus fires had been brought under control by Saturday afternoon, and some 60 people had been arrested, reports said.

The Muslim Brotherhood, which had been banned since September from all activity, was declared a terrorist group on Wednesday following a suicide bombing of a police headquarters in the Nile Delta.

The government said the Muslim Brotherhood was behind the attack – a charge it strongly denied.

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At least 5 people have been injured by a bomb blast close to a bus in Cairo, Egypt’s health ministry has said.

Earlier reports of a death have been discounted.

The bomb was planted on a pedestrian island and exploded as the public bus passed by in the northern district of Nasr City, a security source said.

It comes a day after the government declared the Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist organization.

At least 5 people have been injured by a bomb blast close to a bus in Cairo

At least 5 people have been injured by a bomb blast close to a bus in Cairo

Explosive experts detonated a second bomb that was planted in an advertising board close to where the first explosion went off in Nasr City.

The Muslim Brotherhood, whose candidate Mohamed Morsi won the presidential election in 2012 before being deposed by the military earlier this year, had already been outlawed.

A Muslim Brotherhood leader in exile vowed that protests would continue.

In recent months, Egypt has seen a wave of attacks which the authorities have blamed on Islamist militants.

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