Egypt court annuls 149 death sentences

Cairo, Feb 3 (IANS) An Egyptian appeals court on Wednesday annulled 149 initial death sentences against the members of the banned Muslim Brotherhood group over killing of policemen in 2013.

The court’s ruling came after it accepted an appeal submitted by the defendants and ordered a retrial, Xinhua reported.

In February last year, Giza criminal court sentenced 188 people to death over charges of murdering 11 police officers in Giza’s Kedrasa police station in 2013.

The murder incident, referred to as “Kerdasa massacre”, dates back to August 14, 2013 when dozens of supporters of ousted President Mohamed Morsi stormed the main police station in Kerdasa district of Giza governorate.

Eleven policemen and two civilians were killed in the incident.

The assault took place shortly after police forces cracked down on two main sit-in camps of pro-Morsi protesters in Cairo and Giza governorates.

Morsi was removed by the military in July 2013 after mass protests against his one-year rule.

In September 2013, police forces attacked Kerdasa, a stronghold of Islamists, and arrested 188 people who faced accusations of murder, terrorism and damaging public property.

A number of the Muslim Brotherhood members, including high ranking officials, were sentenced to death. However, the sentences have not been carried out and can be appealed.

Since Morsi’s removal, hundreds of his supporters have been handed lengthy jail terms and death sentences after speedy trials.

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