Egypt to prosecute 379 Brotherhood members

Egypt’s public prosecutor referred a further 379 alleged members of the banned Muslim Brotherhood to court on Thursday over sit-ins in August 2013.

The protests were broken up by security forces that killed hundreds of the protesters.
The 379 were accused of causing the deaths of two policemen at al-Nahda Square in Giza.

Goza is one of two sites where supporters of ousted Islamist President, Mohamed Morsi, gathered in the weeks following his overthrow by the military.

Prosecutors said those being prosecuted face various charges, including murder and vandalism.
The government accused the Brotherhood of fomenting an Islamist insurgency since Morsi’s removal.
Militant attacks have killed hundreds of Egyptians, mostly soldiers and police.

In response, security forces have killed hundreds and detained thousands of members of the group.
Prosecutor, Hisham Barakat, said in a statement that two police officers had also been referred to court, accused of torturing a lawyer to death at a Cairo police station in March.

Prosecutions against members of the security forces were rare in Egypt where the police have reasserted powers eroded since the 2011 popular uprising that ousted autocrat, Hosni Mubarak.

Meanwhile, critics said the police now act with impunity, an accusation the Interior Ministry denied.
Four policemen were charged in March in separate cases involving the deaths of a female protester and a suspected Brotherhood member.

Foreign governments and rights groups have condemned the use of force to disperse demonstrations at Nahda and Rabaa squares, the bloodiest event in Egypt’s recent history.

Cairo has defended its actions, saying it had given protesters the opportunity to leave peacefully and that armed elements within the Brotherhood initiated the violence.


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