A military appeals court upheld on Monday a one-year prison sentence and EGP 500 fine for five leaders of Islamist group Al-Jamaa Al-Islamiya.
The five men were arrested in July for attempting to cross the Sudanese border through a military zone without permission. A military court first sentenced them in September.
The five men are also affiliated with Al-Jamaa Al-Islamiya’s political wing, the Building and Development Party. Among those who had their sentences upheld is Safwat Abdul Ghany, one of the political party‘s founders.
Military trials for civilians are forbidden in Egypt’s constitution, except in cases where the crimes “represent a direct assault against military facilities, military barracks, or whatever falls under their authority, alongside assaults on military or border zones, and military institutions, vehicles, weapons, ammunition, documents, secrets, public funds, or factories”.
Al-Jamaa Al-Islamiya and its political wing opposed the ouster of former president Mohamed Morsi, aligning themselves with the Anti-Coup Alliance, formed in support of Morsi.
The Building and Development Party had charges filed against it in September by the Political Parties Affairs Committee, demanding the dissolution of the party. The prosecution was ordered to investigate the party’s activities and publish a report with its findings.
The party was also charged with acting as the political wing for Al-Jamaa Al-Islamiya’s, which “incites sectarian strife”, according to the prosecution.