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Egypt court confirms Muslim Brotherhood death sentences

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By Alasdair Sandford  with Reuters, AFP
Egypt court confirms Muslim Brotherhood death sentences

A court in Egypt has upheld death sentences on 183 supporters of the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood, on charges of killing police officers.

They had been convicted of taking part in an attack on a police station at Kardasa near Cairo in August 2013, in which at least a dozen officers died.

The initial sentences were handed down in December but were sent to the Grand Mufti, Egypt’s top religious authority, for ratification.

Hundreds of death sentences have been pronounced on Muslim Brotherhood supporters but none has been carried out.

Egypt has mounted one of the biggest crackdowns in its modern history on the Brotherhood since the political demise of Mohamed Mursi, the country’s first democratically-elected president.

Thousands of Brotherhood supporters have been arrested and put on mass trials in a campaign which human rights groups say shows the government is systematically repressing opponents.

Prosecutors say Mursi is to undergo a fourth trial in mid-February.

He is accused of treason and spying for Qatar.

The Muslim Brotherhood leader already faces three other trials over separate charges and risks the death penalty.