Egypt refers over 1,200 Islamists to court

Cairo, Jan 14: Egypt’s prosecution Monday referred 1,211 Islamists to criminal court, accusing them of damaging two police stations in Minya governorate south of the capital Cairo, official Al-Ahram news website reported.

The defendants are mostly from the Muslim Brotherhood group, from which ousted president Mohamed Morsi hails. The group has recently been branded a “terrorist organisation” by the interim government, Xinhua reported.

The charges refer to an incident that occurred in mid-August 2013 when Morsi supporters protested nationwide after security forces violently dispersed two major pro-Morsi sit-ins in Cairo and Giza, resulting in the deaths of about 1,000 people.

The military ousted Islamist president Morsi in early July 2013 after mass protests against Morsi’s one-year rule and the Brotherhood. Police also arrested thousands of Morsi supporters, including leading Brotherhood members.

Since then, Morsi supporters have been holding protests against the current interim leadership, calling for Morsi’s reinstatement and urging for boycotts of the two-day referendum on the new draft constitution that will begin Tuesday.

IANS