Twenty people have been sentenced to death for taking part in violence following the Egyptian security forces’ breakup of two sit-in in Cairo in August 2013, a judicial source reported.
“The Cairo Criminal Court, headed by Judge Mohammad Sherine Fahmy, sentenced 20 people to the death penalty.”
The case involves 156 defendants accused in the case known as the Kerdasa massacre.
The defendants can appeal against the ruling at the Court of Cassation within 60 days.
Speaking before the verdict was handed out, Fahmy said: “Some committed murder themselves, others stole, or burned, some guarded the road so the assailants could commit their crimes, and some blocked the roads to prevent help from coming, some incited citizens against the military and police using mosque speakers and microphones on the streets. If it were not for all of that, these crimes would not have been committed.”
On 14 August 2013, Egyptian security forces raided two camps of protesters in Cairo: one at Al-Nahda Square and a larger one at Rabaa Al-Adawiyaa Square. The two sites had been occupied by supporters of ousted President Mohamed Morsi, who had been removed from office by a military a month earlier.
The raids were described by Human Rights Watch as “one of the world’s largest killings of demonstrators in a single day in recent history”. According to the organisation, a minimum of 817 people and more likely at least 1,000 were killed during the dispersal.