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Egypt court sentences Muslim Brotherhood leader to life in prison

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood leader, Mohamed Badie (C), flashes the four finger symbol known as "Rabaa" from behind the defendant's cage as the judge reads out the verdict sentencing him and more than 100 other defendants on May 16, 2015 at the police academy in Cairo. ©AFP

An Egyptian court has sentenced the leader of the Muslim Brotherhood and 35 other members of the outlawed movement to life in prison over their alleged role in protests following the 2013 ouster of the country’s first democratically-elected president, Mohamed Morsi.

Egyptian judicial officials said on Monday that Mohamed Badie and the 35 defendants in the trial were found guilty of participating in clashes in the Suez canal city of Ismailia that left three people dead in July 2013.

The Brotherhood leader had already received prison terms, including a death sentence, in other trials.

The court also convicted and sentenced 48 other members to jail terms ranging from three to 15 years. It also exonerated 20 people involved in the case.

Egypt’s military courts have been under fire by rights groups for their harsh verdicts.

Egypt's first democratically-elected president, Mohamed Morsi, gestures from behind the defendant's bars during his trial at a court in Cairo on May 7, 2016. (AFP photo)

The Muslim Brotherhood has faced crackdown since Morsi was ousted in a coup led by the then military chief and current president, Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, in July 2013.

Since the ouster of Morsi, thousands of anti-government protesters, mostly Brotherhood supporters, have been sentenced to jail by civilian and military courts.

The Brotherhood was later blacklisted as a terrorist organization by officials in a bid to prevent its affiliates from running in elections.

International rights groups have repeatedly blasted the government of Sisi for launching a heavy-handed crackdown on anti-government protesters and stifling freedom of speech.

The clampdown has led to the deaths of more than 1,400 people and arrests of 22,000 others, while hundreds have been sentenced to death in mass trials, according to human rights bodies.

Morsi himself has been sentenced to death.

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