Muslim Brotherhood supporters handed prison terms

Dec. 30, 2013 at 4:09 PM

CAIRO, Dec. 30 (UPI) -- An Egyptian court Monday sentenced 139 members of the Muslim Brotherhood to two-year prison terms for participating in violent protests last summer.

The sentences are subject to appeal and defendants can be released on $700 bail while the court process continues, Middle East News Agency reported.

Supporters of deposed President Mohamed Morsi have regularly staged protests since the nation's military ousted him from power in July. Last week, the interim government branded the Islamist group a terrorist organization for allegedly carrying out a car bombing that killed 15 people north of Cairo. The designation makes any pro-Muslim Brotherhood protests a crime.

Additionally, military leaders rounded up and arrested top brotherhood officials. If convicted, many could be put to death, MENA said.

More than 1,000 people have died in clashes between pro-Morsi protesters and military-backed police.

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