Egypt Sentences 683 More 'Brotherhood Supporters' to Death

Egyptian relatives react outside a court during the trial of supporters of toppled president Mohamed Morsi, in Minya, Egypt, 28 April 2014.

A total of 683 people, including the Muslim Brotherhood's Supreme Guide Mohamed Badie, were sentenced to death at a mass trial in Egypt.

Charges against them were over an raid on a police station in August last year which took the life on one policeman, according to the BBC.

Only 70 were in custody, while the others were tried in absentia.

The court also reversed death sentences of 492 (out of 529) people who were declared guilty in March on the same terms, while rulings for the remaining 37 were confirmed.

Each of those with overturned sentences will now spend 25 years in prison.

A lawyer representing some of the defendants was quoted by Al Jazeera as saying that the verdict had been hastily delivered - a court session lasted five minutes, compared to a previous one which continued four hours.

UN Human Rights Commissioner Navi Pillay's spokesman said after the trial that it had been "rife with procedural irregularities".

Both the UN and a number of human rights organizations have criticized the trials against alleged Muslim Brotherhood supporters, with Amnesty International representative describing the second case as killing "the credibility of the Egyptian judicial system".

Monday's sentences can be appealed.

Since ousting Islamist President Mohammed Morsi in July following mass protests, the Egyptian military has launched a crackdown on Muslim Brotherhood supporters and on those taking part in protests against the army's actions.

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