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More civilians sentenced in Suez military tribunals - Daily News Egypt

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More civilians sentenced in Suez military tribunals

Prosecution referred another 295 alleged Brotherhood supporters to Minya military court Saturday

The Suez Military Court sentenced an engineer, allegedly a Muslim Brotherhood member, to three years imprisonment on charges of sabotaging an electricity station in Ain Sokhna, state media reported.

Another seven engineers were acquitted. Recently, electricity stations have been targeted, with the Interior Ministry usually blaming “elements of the Muslim Brotherhood” for the bombings.

In a recent development, 295 alleged member of the Brotherhood in Minya were referred to military court, after being charged with storming into a Minya police station.

The incident took place in August 2013, after the violent dispersal of the pro-Morsi sit-ins in Rabaa Al-Adaweya and Al-Nahda Squares.

A series of retaliations followed the dispersals, that varied from attacks on Coptic Christians, police officers and police stations, as well as unarmed civilians.

In Minya, several police stations were attacked by assailants and many of the stations’ weapons were looted.

Similar incidents have also occurred in Port Said, Kerdasa, and Qena .

This was the second time since 2011 where angry civilians attacked police facilities after protesters were reportedly killed by riot police. The first and most violent was on 28 January 2011, where protesters retaliated against the police for killing fellow demonstrators.

In cases involving attacks on “public facilities”, the General Prosecution is allowed to refer the case to the army due to “lack of jurisdiction”. In these instances, the trial sessions take place in military camps and facilities inaccessible to civilians and reporters.

There has been an increase in the number of civilians being tried in front of military courts.

This was enhanced by both the presence of the a military appeals court which specialises in all lawsuits which concern the armed forces, and the October 2014 presidential decree by President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi that stipulates the referral of any person who attempts to vandalise a public property to a military court.

Last week, the East Cairo Military Criminal Court sentenced five Al-Azhar University students to between three and five years in prison for “burning the gate of the Faculty of Girls”.

In March, at least 363 civilians have been referred to military trials on charges of belonging to the Muslim Brotherhood and engaging in violent incidents during protests.

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