Egypt Court Sentences 14 Al-Azhar Students To 7 Years In Prison

Cairo Criminal Court sentenced Saturday 14 Al-Azhar University students to seven years in maximum security prison.

The court also sentenced 10 underage defendants to three years in prison, one defendant to five years, a one-year suspended sentence on two defendants, and acquitted two students.

The defendants had been charged with using violence against citizens, attacking Al-Azhar employees, and sabotaging the university’s administration building, and spreading chaos.

Al-Azhar University has been the scene of recurrent student-led demonstrations since August last year, largely in favour of ousted Islamist president Mohamed Morsi.

Hundreds of protesters have been handed similar sentences since the passing of a strict protest law last November. Many have been expelled or suspended, also over rioting.

A number of students have been killed in recent months during protests that often descend into clashes with police.

Al-Azhar is an ancient centre of Islamic learning that runs mosques, universities, schools and numerous charities, in addition to issuing religious edicts (fatwas).

Source : Ahram online