In a trial that lasted just hours, an Egyptian court has sentenced 683 men to death.
This video taken by journalist Bel Trew shows women collapsing in grief after learning the fate of their husbands, brothers and fathers. (Via YouTube / Bel Trew)
Those 683 men were alleged supporters of Mohamed Morsi — Egypt's first democratically-elected president ousted by the military last summer. (Via Press TV)
Among the defendants was Mohammed Badie — the Muslim Brotherhood’s spiritual leader. His sentence marks the first major verdict against a leader of the Islamist group. (Via Jewish News One)
He and the others were convicted of murder and attempted murder of policemen during a riot that broke out following the government’s brutal dispersal of pro-Morsi sit-ins last August. (Via Euronews)
Most lawyers for the defendants boycotted the trial, which they described as a farce and politically-motivated. Of course, Monday’s mass sentencing is just the latest in a wider crackdown on Morsi’s supporters in the Brotherhood.
The sentence came from the same judge that last month sentenced 529 Brotherhood supporters to death — though most of those sentences were commuted to life in prison. (Via CBS)
Earlier this year, Egypt’s military-backed government branded the group a terrorist organization, banned its activities and froze its assets. Thousands of members have been jailed since Morsi’s ouster. (Via Al Arabiya, NBC)
Human rights groups have condemned the rulings, and questioned a recent decision by the White House to restore some military aid to Egypt. (Via CCTV)
The case still has to go to Egypt’s religious authority, known as the Grand Mufti, for review before it can be carried out. A final decision is expected in June.