Cairo — The Cairo Criminal Court sentenced two to death and twenty others to life imprisonment on Tuesday in a case concerning violent clashes that erupted between security forces and protesters near the U.S. embassy in 2013.
The court, presided over by Judge Nagy Shehata, also sentenced a juvenile to ten years imprisonment in absentia. The sentences are not final and can be appealed before the Court of Cassation, Reuters reported.
The convicts were charged with "crowding, disrupting the peace, murder, causing injury to others, deliberately sabotaging public facilities, obstructing the laws, possessing weapons, showing force and terrorising citizens."
The case dates back to October 2013 when violent clashes erupted between security forces and supporters of the ousted Muslim Brotherhood President Mohamed Mursi. This came almost two months after the forced dispersal of the Rabaa al-Adaweya and Nahda sit-ins that were also held in Mursi's support.
Rabaa's dispersal saw the killing of at least 1,150 demonstrators, according to Human Rights Watch in a 2014 report which said that it "probably amounts to a crime against humanity".
The state's National Council for Human Rights, however, said in March 2014 that the death toll was 632, including eight security personnel.
Egypt listed the Brotherhood as a terrorist organisation in December 2013.
The state insists the Brotherhood is behind the violent wave of militancy which has targeted security personnel since mid-2013. The Brotherhood continuously denies the accusations.