CAIRO — A court in Egypt sentenced 529 supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood to death Monday as part of a mass trial that highlights ongoing attempts to squash the Islamist movement.
More than 150 of 545 defendants stood trial on charges of killing a policeman and attacking police. The others were tried in absentia, the Associated Press reported.
Sixteen defendants were acquitted after hasty hearings lasted only two days, and defense lawyers complained they never had a chance to present their case in the trial held in the Upper Egyptian city of Minya.
The verdict precedes another case set to open on Tuesday in which nearly 700 defendants are facing similar charges.
“The trials are part of the raging battle between the military-led government and Muslim Brotherhood,” said Fawaz Gerges, professor of international relations at the London School of Economics.
Read more: USA Today