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Former Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi sentenced to 20 years

Former Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi sentenced to 20 years
Cairo - Mohamed Morsi went from prison to the presidency. And now he's going back to prison.

The ousted President was convicted on charges of violence and inciting violence and sentenced to 20 years in prison without parole on Tuesday for the torture of protesters outside the presidential palace in December 2012. But he was acquitted of murder in the deaths of protesters.

He stood in a cage in court as judge Ahmed Sabry Youssef read out the ruling against him and 12 other Brotherhood members, including senior figures Mohamed el-Beltagy and Essam el-Erian. The sentencing was broadcast live on state television.

Morsi, who became Egypt's first democratically elected President in June 2012, was deposed by a popularly backed military coup in July 2013.

Morsi has consistently maintained his innocence and rejected the authority of the Cairo Criminal Court. He says that he was the victim of a military coup byAbdul Fattah al-Sisi— Egypt's current president but chief of the army at the time of Morsi's arrest.

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After the sentencing, his Freedom and Justice Party called the trial a "travesty of justice."

"This is a sad and terrible day in Egyptian history," the party said in a statement Tuesday. "Coup leaders have sentenced Mohamed Morsi to decades in prison for nothing more than championing the democratic will of the people."

Amnesty International described the ruling as "a travesty of justice" that "shatters any remaining illusion of independence and impartiality in Egypt’s criminal justice system".

The rights group called for Mursi to be retried in a civilian court "in line with international standards" or released.

Leading Egyptian cleric Sheikh Youssef al-Qaradawi, who lives in pro-Brotherhood Qatar, criticized the ruling.

"The judiciary in Egypt is no longer one of the three (branches of) power. Instead, all the powers and the country itself are now run by the military," he said in a statement.

Hundreds of Muslim Brotherhood supporters in Egypt have been jailed or sentenced to death in the wake of Morsi's ouster as authorities have aggressively cracked down on Islamist opponents.

Twelve other Muslim Brotherhood supporters were also sentenced to 20 years in prison by the court on Tuesday.

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