An Egyptian criminal court on Tuesday sentenced ousted Islamist President Mohammed Morsi to 20 years in prison for the killing of protesters in 2012, the first verdict to be issued against the country’s first freely elected leader. Judge Ahmed Youssef issued his verdict as Morsi and other defendants in the case stood in a soundproof glass cage inside a makeshift courtroom at Egypt’s national police academy. In addition to Morsi, 12 Brotherhood leaders and Islamist supporters, including Mohammed el-Beltagy and Essam el-Erian, also were sentenced to 20 years in prison.
They want to pass a life sentence for democracy in Egypt.
From his exile in Turkey’s capital, Istanbul, top Muslim Brotherhood figure Amr Darrag
Thousands of Brotherhood members are in jail facing a variety of charges, most linking them to violence that followed Morsi’s 2013 overthrow. Youssef dropped murder charges involved in the case and said the sentences were linked to the “show of force” and unlawful detention associated with the case. During the hearing, Morsi and the rest of the defendants in white jumpsuits raised the four-finger sign symbolizing the sit-in at the Rabaah al-Adawiya mosque, where hundreds were killed when security forces violently dispersed the sprawling sit-in by Morsi’s supporters on Aug. 14, 2013.