528 supporters of ousted Islamist President Mohammed Morsi have been sentenced to death at a court in Egypt.
The supporters were convicted of attacking innocent people, property and murdering a policeman.
Included in the group are approximately 1,200 Muslim Brotherhood supporters including senior members.
Since Morsi’s removal by the military in July, thousands of Islamists have been killed or arrested.
According to legal sources, this has been one of the most severe and hastily made court decisions in the history of Egyptian law.
The case was centered on the killing of a police officer, with more than 520 defendants sentenced to death.
The initial hearing took place Saturday and the announcement of mass death sentences took place the following Monday, March 24.
In a statement made by a Muslim Brotherhood spokesman, the verdict was emitted from a “kangaroo court,” with many human rights activists questioning the trial and the independence of the judiciary.
Critics see the verdict as a state campaign to diminish the Brotherhood. With expectations for the ruling to be appealed, a number of legal experts expect a retrial.
As the world awaits the court’s decision, the final trial will take place on April 28th.
This report is compiled with information from the BBC and the Associated Press. Image courtesy of AFP.