Egypt Puts 78 Minors in Jail for Protests

A court in Egypt on Wednesday sentenced 78 minors to two to five years behind bars for participating in protests and demonstrations that called for Mohamed Morsi the ousted president to be returned to office, said judicial sources.

The authorities have engaged in a huge crackdown on the supporters of Morsi since he was ousted from office the summer of 2013 by the country’s army.

Hundreds of supporters have been jailed through mass trials, which have been described by the United Nations as unprecedented in recent times.

On Wednesday, in the city of Alexandria on the Mediterranean, a court sentenced the 78 teenage males who were between 13 and 17 for joining rallies carried out by the Muslim Brotherhood during the last three months, said an official on Thursday.

All of the 78 minors, who are Muslim Brotherhood members, were arrested due to participating in protests the group organized calling for the regime’s downfall. In the protests, the teens are alleged to have blocked roadways, impeded transportation and frightened Egyptian citizens, said the MENA agency.

The Muslim Brotherhood has been labeled by authorities in Egypt as a terrorist group. Since the army ousted Mohamed Morsi from president in July of 2013, a bloody crackdown was launched by the government against Morsi’s supporters, which left over 1,400 dead and 15,000 or more jailed.

A number of figureheads in the Brotherhood, including the ex-president himself, have or are facing trials punishable by death.

Close to 2000 supporters of the movement, have been handed a death sentence following mass trials that were speedy and not considered just by many human rights organizations.

On Wednesday, Egypt opened the border crossing at Rafah for just the first time in more than a month, to allow many Palestinians who were stranded to go back to the Gaza Strip, said officials at the border.

Egypt had closed the crossing at Rafah on October 25 after Sinai Peninsula militants killed 33 security forces.

The closure of one month stranded more than 6,000 Palestinians inside Egypt.

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