Egypt courts jail nearly 100 Mursi backers

Egyptian courts found defendants guilty of violence during protests in support of ousted Mursi

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Egyptian courts sentenced nearly 100 people to prison for up to 25 years Thursday after finding them guilty of violence during protests in support of ousted Islamist president Mohamed Mursi.

Hundreds of Mursi supporters have been handed lengthy jail terms and death sentences after speedy trials amid a brutal crackdown by the authorities since the Islamist's overthrow in July last year.

The crackdown has left at least 1,400 people dead, triggering an international outcry.

On Thursday, a court in the Nile Delta province of Kafr al-Sheikh sentenced 86 people for to up to 15 years in jail for causing violence at a protest in January.

The defendants, including four minors, were tried for clashes with security forces which had caused no casualties.

The clashes erupted when security forces cracked down on the pro-Mursi protest outside a police station in Kafr al-Sheikh.

The defendants were found guilty of illegal assembly, attempted murder, vandalism, stealing a gun from a policeman and possessing illegal arms.

Seventy-three of the 86 defendants were sentenced to 15 years in absentia, nine were handed 10 year terms, while the four minors were given one year suspended sentences.

In a separate case, four defendants were sentenced to 10 years in jail, another six to seven years in prison and a minor was given one year suspended sentence for causing violence outside Cairo in December.

And in a third case, two supporters of Mursi were sentenced to life imprisonment amounting to 25 years in jail for violence that left two dead in July 2013.

They were sentenced during a retrial in a case which has already seen the chief of Muslim Brotherhood, Mohamed Badie, given life imprisonment.

More than 15,000 supporters of Mursi have been jailed since his ouster by the army. Mursi himself faces trials on charges which if proved are punishable by death.

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