The Cairo Criminal Court yesterday sentenced 13 defendants to life imprisonment, and three others to 15-year terms on charges of joining Al-Nusra Front and participating in its operations.
The State Security Prosecution previously referred the 16 defendants to trial on charges of leading a terrorist group aimed at obstructing the constitution and the law, assaulting personal freedoms, harming national unity by joining a group affiliated with the Al-Qaeda terrorist organisation, attacking the Egyptian armed forces and police and targeting public facilities.
According to investigations, two defendants joined Al-Nusra Front in Syria, received military training there and carried out attacks against non-Egyptian targets.
Rights groups have on numerous occasions accused Egyptian courts of using terror charges to silence dissenting voices, while trials are often held in secret with the accused not given the opportunity for a defence.
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